To sustain and thrive as a volunteer fire department, it takes leadership. With noble leadership, departments are rewarded with dependable human capital. First, leaders and officers have to understand the volunteer firefighter and how they have careers in other occupations to provide for their family. They put innumerable amounts of time to train and work to be providers for their community. Not for money, but pride.
With department leaders (Officers) having a social influence in retaining and recruiting voluntary participation, a core group of dedicated volunteers form. Making a solid foundation to the organization that will flourish. Accountable officers must bring teams together, which creates a place where everyone provides in overcoming barriers. It takes leadership that recognizes change and commands it in a positive manner. Creating sustainability to the organization.
The only way to be lucrative is to make those around you successful. Officers must ensure success to volunteers. With this being said, officers must be fair and consistent in holding members accountable to the standards set forth by the department. Officers need to learn the ability to recognize the differences of contributing members to non-contributing members and treat them differently. All while creating an environment that people want to be a part of.
It also takes a board of directors to understand their volunteers and leadership needs. From bottom to top, the organization works congruently to accomplish goals and maintain standards in a forever changing industry. Making leadership the sole factor to a thriving fire department.