Public Safety Workforce Blogs

Resources needed for firefighter mental health programs [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jul 23, 2018 11:03:14 AM

Training and assistance programs designed to keep firefighters fit and healthy shouldn't exclude mental health from their focus areas. Post-traumatic stress and other serious conditions can seriously affect first responders, and departmental leaders should set aside the time and resources to help their teams.

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Topics: Firefighters

Flexible First Responder Roles: A Boon for Small Town Response Times? [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

May 25, 2018 11:23:19 AM

Police, Fire, EMS: The divisions between first responder departments are distinct in most communities. In small-town settings, however, combining duties could increase the percentage of full-time emergency personnel on staff and reduce response times.

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Topics: EMS, Police, Firefighters

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.

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Topics: Firefighters

Managing millennial firefighters [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 12, 2018 9:30:56 AM

The millennial generation has aged into the workforce. These young people are taking on important new roles in every field imaginable, public safety included.  Fire department leaders should consider their workforce management approaches to make sure they're tailored to millennials, their skills and work habits.

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Topics: Firefighters

Fire departments must enforce operational guidelines [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

May 9, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Improving a fire department's performance can literally safeguard firefighters' lives. This challenging process becomes easier when department leaders implement strong standard operational guidelines and ensure personnel follow them carefully. Having frameworks in place helps firefighters make critical decisions in the field.

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Topics: Firefighters

Fighting back against volunteer firefighter shortages [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Mar 6, 2017 4:46:41 PM

Hiring firefighters will always be a challenge due to the unconventional hours and specific skills needed. This task can be even more complex for volunteer fire departments. However, a few promising strategies can ease the strain a little.

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Topics: Firefighters

Retiring Firefighters vs. New Recruits – Finding the Balance [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Jan 17, 2017 1:38:38 PM

In Columbus, Ohio, a spate of retirements has pushed the department to increase hiring. But new recruits might not be ready soon enough.

The city has approved the hiring of 25 additional recruits to fill newly opened positions after already adding 40 new firefighters this year. However, some firefighters have stated that there will be more open spots by the time these new recruits are trained and certified.

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Topics: Firefighters

Simulated firefighting scenarios teach valuable skills [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Nov 1, 2016 2:49:41 PM

It's important for firefighters to have highly specific situational training and be in a state of readiness for any situation that may occur. Periodic joint training exercises can keep their skills sharp.

Illinois firefighters recently provided a great example of this technique in action, gathering at the University of Illinois to train together in simulated environments. The demonstrations included examples of fires in houses, basements, garages and other types of structures.  

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Topics: Firefighters

Kansas City Strikes Salary Deal With Firefighter Union [Video]

Posted by Jackie Belasky

Aug 25, 2016 3:15:55 PM

Maintaining a full-service fire department on a tight budget can be difficult. One of the greatest challenges that municipal governments face is negotiating wage deals with labor unions.

If not kept under control, wages can overwhelm budgets. In Kansas City, Missouri, the city council just voted to approve a four-year wage deal that will give firefighters and ambulance workers annual raises of 2.6 percent. This is higher than what was initially budgeted in the city's five-year plan, and could be difficult to finance.

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Topics: Firefighters