ABOUT VWS2020-04-10T19:39:12+00:00

About VWS

The Volunteer Workforce Solutions (VWS) helps improve volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention.

firefighter volunteers

As part of the VWS program, the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) provides marketing material, training and support to participating departments to assure the success of their recruitment and retention campaigns. In addition, the IFCA provides leadership and recruitment and retention seminars throughout the state of Indiana as part of the VWS program. Data collected from the VWS program will be used to identify best practices and to contribute to the fire service’s body of knowledge related to recruitment and retention.

In addition to marketing material and training, the VWS program offers departments GIS-based reports to assist in their recruitment efforts. The GIS-based methods utilize community-level profile data (Tapestry Data) derived from analyzing current firefighters and identifying the personal characteristics of future firefighter candidates. These data and characteristics help establish and identify the methods to best communicate with and recruit potential firefighters. The Tapestry Data allows departments to utilize solid information to custom build a recruitment plan to meet their specific needs.

Our Mission

We’ve set out to help fire departments recruit members, and to point potential volunteers in the direction of a department that fits their need.

What We Do

Working with an initial group of fire departments, VWS helps create marketing materials, studies the demographics of the local region and their department members and customizes items needed to assist in reaching out to potential members.

Our Supporters

The Volunteer Workforce Solutions program is made possible by program partners including the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Learn More About Becoming a Volunteer Firefighter

Who can be a volunteer firefighter?2020-03-30T18:36:56+00:00

If you have the desire to serve and help your community, you can be a volunteer firefighter. You don’t need any prior experience; you will receive the training you need when you join the department. Your local department will likely have specific requirements, such as a minimum age or background check, but these vary by department. If you want to help your community in ways few can, become a volunteer firefighter today.

What qualifications do I need to become a volunteer firefighter?2020-03-30T18:37:45+00:00

This varies greatly from department to department. All departments have a minimum age requirement, though some allow younger members to enroll as ‘explorers’ or junior volunteer firefighters. Most departments also have a physical testing requirement, testing procedures vary from department to department.

What is the first step to volunteering?2020-03-30T18:38:39+00:00

Contacting your local fire department and expressing your interest in joining is the first step to volunteering.

Please fill out our online form if you’re interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter or volunteering in any capacity at your local fire department. Upon completing the form, your information will be routed to the appropriate department.

Any questions can be directed to vws@iafc.org. Thank you for your interest.

Do volunteer firefighters get paid?2020-03-30T18:39:19+00:00

Volunteer firefighters do not get paid, but they can get reimbursed. Reimbursement is usually a small amount of tax-free money for time spent on shifts, responding to calls and training. The amount is usually at the discretion of the department.

What kind of training do I need?2020-03-30T18:40:50+00:00

Once you sign up to be a firefighter or EMT, you will need to be trained. Training requirements vary by state, locality, and department. The time investment in training depends on the level of training and certifications your specific department requires. Fire departments typically provide or arrange for volunteer personnel to receive all required training at no cost to the individual.

In general, volunteers may be asked to complete certification training for one or more of the following: Firefighter I, Firefighter II, Emergency Medical Responder, Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Hazmat Awareness, Hazmat Operations, Traffic Incident Management, Wildland Firefighter.

Contact your local department to learn what training they require.

Should I start physical training before applying to volunteer?2020-03-30T18:42:01+00:00

Yes, a training program will likely help you achieve the physical standards required by your department. Contact your local department for a recommended list of exercises.

How many hours do volunteer firefighters work?2020-03-30T18:42:55+00:00

Many departments require a minimum number of volunteer hours per month. The exact amount of volunteer hours varies by department.

Ready to become a volunteer firefighter?

Volunteer Now
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