The Everyday Hero CT volunteer firefighter recruitment program leaders met with volunteer and combination fire departments who wanted to learn more about how they can benefit from opportunities and funding available to help them increase their ranks. Both WTNH News 8 and FOX 61 shared the story.
The Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association (CFCA) has received a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Recruitment and Retention grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of approximately $1.12 million. The grant will allow the CFCA to continue its partnership with the Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) team of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) in an effort to assist communities in achieving a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighting workforce. This will be the third phase of Everyday Hero CT.
Connecticut has more than 300 fire departments staffed by over 26,000 firefighters, 83 percent of whom are volunteers and are professionally trained. The majority of fire departments throughout the state are experiencing a volunteer shortage.
Phases I and II of the CFCA VWS program established the Everyday Hero CT program and yielded significant interest in the volunteer fire service throughout the state of Connecticut. Almost 300 new members joined the 15 departments selected to participate in the program. Those departments received recruitment and retention support from the CFCA through marketing campaigns, media assistance, mentoring programs, technology, and leadership training. Phase III will seek to improve recruitment and retention in Connecticut based on lessons learned and data acquired during the first two phases. It will be a multi-faceted approach that will benefit many Connecticut departments and eventually have a nationwide impact.
Phase III will be delivered over three years in the form of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) physicals, conference scholarships, and much more. Firefighters throughout Connecticut are invited to learn more about how their departments can benefit from these opportunities.