FRANKLIN, Tenn., June 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA), in partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), formally kicked off the "What Fuels Your Fire?" firefighter recruitment and retention campaign this past Saturday. The campaign is part of the Tennessee Volunteer Workforce Solutions program designed to help Tennessee's fire departments achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce. The program is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the TFCA by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop a model to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.
Nineteen Tennessee fire departmental groups, consisting of 64 departments, are participating in the two-year program, designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in the state. The fire departments will use geographic information systems (GIS) to take in-depth looks at their communities, measuring demographic, cultural and economic data to predict the best way to recruit a volunteer firefighter workforce. The results and findings from the program and the recruitment efforts will benefit all fire departments in the state. In addition, several leadership workshops aimed at improving retention will be offered to all departments statewide.
"The TFCA is excited to partner with the IAFC to apply data-driven recruitment practices for Tennessee fire departments and affect tangible long-term volunteer staffing solutions," explained TFCA President David Hodges. "As the Volunteer State, we have a long running history of community service minded people making big differences and this will help us build on that strong foundation."
The number one issue facing volunteer fire departments today is the ability to maintain adequate staffing levels. Eighty percent of all fire personnel in Tennessee are volunteer firefighters and the majority of departments are experiencing a volunteer shortage.
Being a volunteer is a rewarding experience and one of the best ways someone can make a difference in the community. The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities, who are willing and able to respond to emergencies when needed.
Local events will occur with the 19 selected departmental groups that will involve the community and provide opportunities for all stakeholders to be engaged in the process. Senator Bill Ketron and State Representative Glen Casada joined 96 members of the participating departments for the kickoff on Saturday.
The 19 fire service groups include: Atoka FD (Tipton Co), Andersonville FD (Anderson Co), Centerville FD (Hickman Co), Cheatham County FD Group (Cheatham Co), City of Erin FD (Houston Co), Clay County FD Group (Clay Co), Covington FD (Tipton Co), Crossville FD (Cumberland Co), Decatur County FD (Decatur Co), Englewood FD/McMinn County Group (McMinn Co), Fayette County FD Group (Fayette County), Hardin County FD (Hardin Co), Lexington FD (Henderson Co), Lincoln County FD (Lincoln Co), Roane County FD Group (Roane County), Rutherford County FD (Rutherford Co), Tri-Community FD (Hamilton County), West Carter County FD (Carter Co), and Williamson County Fire Service Group (Williamson County).
To learn more about becoming a firefighter and joining a local volunteer fire department, please visit www.VolunteerFireTN.org.
About the Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association, Inc. (TFCA)
The TFCA provides leadership to career and volunteer Fire Chiefs, Chief Fire Officers and managers of emergency service organizations throughout the State of Tennessee through vision, information, education, service and representation to enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The TN Fire Chiefs Association (TFCA) also encourages the professional advancement of the fire service to ensure and maintain greater protection of life and property from fire and natural or man-made disasters. The TFCA's mission is to provide leadership to career and volunteer chiefs, chief fire officers, and managers of Emergency Service Organizations throughout the State of Tennessee through vision, information, education, service and representation to enhance their professionalism and capabilities. More information about the TFCA is located at www.tnfirechiefs.com.
About the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide. IAFC members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, EMS, terrorism response, hazmat spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public-safety legislation. Since 1873, the IAFC has provided a forum for its members to exchange ideas, develop professionally and uncover the latest products and services available to first responders. Learn more at www.iafc.org.
Contact: Chief Eddie Phillips
TFCA VWS Program Manager
SOURCE Tennessee Fire Chiefs Association