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Effectively combining career and volunteer firefighter staff [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Mar 27, 2018 3:17:31 PM

Creating a combined fire department, with both career and volunteer firefighters, can be a difficult feat of resource and schedule management. Lack of clear communications and a detailed transition plan can lead to an exodus of trained, qualified firefighters.

Hands-on leadership from fire chiefs, as well as joint exercises that unite career and volunteer firefighters, can increase the sense of community and reassure staff members of their place in a newly combined department.

Software tools designed with public safety in mind can be used to apply policy rule-sets that are unique to volunteer versus career firefighters.  This can help to ensure proper scheduling, along with the tracking of asset assignments.  Joint training programs that build team trust can be scheduled and tracked. 

In complex situations such as combined departments, this extra simplicity can be vital. Over time, volunteer and career staff will get to know each other personally and will discover that they're so different after all.  Both have a genuine desire to serve their communities.

Come back soon for more insights about managing the public safety workforce.

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Topics: Firefighters

About Orion Communications

As workforce management and data interface experts, Orion Communications is a leading provider of public safety workforce management software.  Orion’s AgencyWeb® software helps agencies simplify complex workforce management processes and reduce labor cost. Orion has been serving the public safety industry since 1998 and is a certified women-owned business headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

For more information, please contact Jackie Belasky at 214-361-1203, #2413 or