The North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs (NCAFC) was awarded a SAFER grant to implement different recruitment and retention strategies. As part of the VWS program, the NCAFC provides marketing material, training and support to participating departments to assure the success of their recruitment and retention campaigns. In addition, the NCAFC provides leadership and recruitment and retention seminars throughout the state of North Carolina 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.
The VWS Program also offers participating departments scholarships for conference attendance, tuition assistance, and recruitment and retention classes. These resources will provide further education for both the volunteers and the departments.
Additionally, 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.