Recruitment and Retention
Many rural EMS agencies face challenges in recruiting and retaining the volunteers who often play such a crucial role. By designating a recruitment manager and a volunteer coordinator, you can dedicate strategic resources toward recruiting and maintaining your staff. The following resources may help you attract new members to volunteer with your service and keep them there.
Writing a volunteer position description
Explaining the position for potential recruits lays out expectations early.
- A step–by–step approach from About.com's Nonprofit Charitable Orgs
- Volunteer Position Description from the Port Ludlow Fire and Rescue
Finding daytime volunteers
Covering volunteer daytime shifts can be difficult due to employment work schedules. Consider recruiting a volunteer stay–at–home parent who could care for children while other parents are responding to calls.
Addressing concerns about EMS runs
Most people think EMS personnel primarily encounter “blood and guts” situations. Portraying what the typical EMS run actually entails can dispel misconceptions that might prevent recruits from volunteering.
By incorporating a few easy practices, your service can retain existing volunteers and avoid burnout. The following materials were created by the Virginia Dept. of Health's Office of Emergency Medical Services. Below are a sample of the retention tools you will find in Virginia's EMS Workforce Retention Tool Kit – Keeping the Best.
- Keeping the Best! How to Use EMS Retention Principles
- Keeping the Best! Maximizing Your Retention Efforts
- Keeping the Best! Survival Guide to EMS Retention Problems
Provide incentives to volunteers through the Minnesota Ambulance Service Longevity Award and Incentive Program.