SFFMA Recruitment/Retention Grant Program
The State Firefighters' & Fire Marshals' Association of Texas (SFFMA) was awarded $1.43 million for a Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant to assist Texas' fire departments with retention & recruitment of volunteer emergency responders.
Part 1: Evaluations from the SFFMA and the Texas A&M Forest Service show that volunteer and combination fire departments in Texas continue to face an issue with recruitment of new firefighters as existing firefighters move, retire or leave the service. To assist in the recruitment efforts throughout the state, the SFFMA has launched an integrated marketing campaign consisting of:
- Recruitment Billboards across the state
- An interactive website (www.Volunteerfirefighter.org)
- Recruitment Banners customized with your department logo
- Online advertisements
- R&R toolkits
- Fliers & posters
- Plus, other creative avenues
All marketing will direct those interested in volunteering to volunteerfirefighter.org/TX - potential recruits will fill out & submit a form with contact & background information which will immediately be sent to every volunteer fire department in that county.
What is your role in the recruitment campaign?
The SFFMA works hard for the volunteer & combination departments throughout Texas. Along with the many benefits the Association provides their members, they have made efforts to be awarded these funds because they know there is a large need in the volunteer community. To maximize the funding, we ask that you work with us over the next 4 years by doing the following:
1. Ensure you are on the contact list & are receiving leads from individuals in your county.
2. Once you’ve obtained your recruitment marketing materials (banners, posters, handouts) put them up in your community.
2. Immediately contact potential recruits & educate them about your volunteer program.
3. Give prospective volunteers any material needed to become a volunteer in your department.
4. Complete all surveys from SFFMA regarding retention & recruitment during & after the 4-year grant period.
Part 2: The SAFER grant also includes several Recruitment Workshops that will educate fire service leaders on how to implement the tools that the grant provides. At these 2-hour Workshops attendees will learn not only about what is available to them through the SAFER funding, but also about how to take those items & make them successful at their local department. Workshop Topics will include:
- Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment Challenges in Your Community
- Creating Marketing Materials for Your Department Using SFFMA’s Grant Funds
- Using Social Media to Your Advantage
- SFFMA’s Statewide Recruitment Campaign
- Maximizing Volunteerfirefighter.org to Generate Volunteer Applications
The SFFMA is aware the departments throughout the state aren't well equipped to tackle many of the challenges they face & it is their goal to lessen that burden & also teach departments how to improve their efforts moving forward. Information regarding location & dates of these trainings will be on Volunteerfirefighter.org & SFFMA.org.
Recruitment Workshops scheduled to date:
Zone Date City Local Organizer to Contact
Zone 7 2/9 Nacogdoches Billy Gillam
Zone 8 2/10 Longview Patrick Dooley
Zone 8 2/11 Bullard Randy W. Hollingsworth
Zone 9 3/13 Liberty Chapel Jack Watson
Zone 11 4/6 Abilene Kris Hester
Zone 2 4/22 McQueeney Tim Bogisch
The SFFMA looks forward to working with all the volunteer & combination departments in the state over the 4-year grant period. This grant began on November 18, 2018 & ends on November 17, 2022. The SFFMA Grant Managers will be Greg Redden & Kate Mewes who can be reached at 855-VOLFIRE or Greg@volunteerfirefighter.org or Kate@volunteerfirefighter.org. Please contact them with any questions and/or if you are interested in hosting a Workshop.
Click here for a downloadable flyer that can be disperse throughout your area. We look forward to hearing from you!