In addition to the facts below that can be used in news coverage there are other ways for media to get involved in this recruitment.

Here are ways you can get involved:

  • For TV stations, have a telephone bank staffed with volunteer firefighters that can answer questions from viewers during the newscast about how to become a volunteer firefighter.
  • Host a recruitment event at your station or newspaper and maybe even turn it into a pancake breakfast.
  • Send a reporter to ride along as a volunteer firefighter so they can train, eat dinner with the team and take part in service calls to really see what it’s like to be one of these incredible men and women.
  • Run our PSA (coming soon) on your station.
  • Run our banner ad on your news website as a way to give back to the community that serves you.
  • When covering fire-related stories, include these facts in your story about our desperate need for volunteer firefighters nationwide.
  • Send an email to all newsroom staff alerting them to the need for volunteers, perhaps tomorrow’s hero is among you.
  • Have your Community Outreach Team offer this to your roster of sponsors and corporate social responsibility representatives to include this campaign in their community giving and volunteer programs.
  • Help us spread the word about how entire families get involved: so when mom or dad responds to an emergency, the whole family assembles and goes to the station where every family member has a role to play.


  • In North Carolina and other states in the U.S., the number of volunteers is dwindling drastically–this is affecting communities in the area of life safety and property emergencies.
  • Every 1.8 days in North Carolina a life is lost to fire – are the two connected?
  • North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs (NCAFC), in partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), is gathering with many North Carolina fire service agencies from across the state to discover ways to do a better job of recruiting volunteer firefighters.
  • Volunteers make up the largest part of the fire service in the state. According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) 72% of North Carolina firefighters are volunteers and 91.2% of departments are all or mostly volunteer.
  • Across the United States, volunteers make up 70% of the firefighting workforce which is about two percent lower than in North Carolina. The program is funded by a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant awarded to the NCAFC 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.
  • Fifteen North Carolina fire departments and associations, consisting of over 50 departments from across the state, are participating in the 2-year program, designed to address the shortage of volunteer firefighters in the state.
  • Among the tools being developed, 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.
  • Volunteer firefighters can be called upon 24 hours per day, seven days per week to abandon the warmth and comfort of their homes in the middle of the night or during a holiday celebration, leave the fun of family gatherings on sunny summer afternoons, enter burning buildings, rescue stranded hikers and struggling swimmers, extricate victims from automobiles, and more.
  • Volunteer firefighters save their communities millions of dollars every year.
  • The skills and experience gained as a volunteer firefighter are invaluable and have a positive and lasting impact on the lives of others. Those who join their local fire departments sign up for one of the most rewarding opportunities they’ll ever have.
  • The PSA will be an impactful video that shows volunteer firefighters performing many of their different jobs – from putting out fires and rescuing victims trapped in cars or stranded on the water to taking pride in their communities by marching in parades.
  • Highlighting volunteer firefighters operating at various emergency scenes and performing some of the many skills they possess thanks to the professional training they receive, the PSA will illustrate that volunteer firefighters come from all walks of life. They’re male, female, teachers, business owners, retirees, mothers, fathers, students, and more. And, they want more members of their communities to answer the call.