Catering to millennials: Challenges in recruiting volunteers for EMS and fire
In order to effectively recruit and retain new volunteers from the millennial generation, we must engage their sense of altruism
By Dr. Shana Nicholson and Joseph Heaton
What drives 20-somethings, also known as the millennial generation, is dramatically different than generation’s past. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2012 volunteering hit an all-time low in the country, with the lowest volunteer hours among 20 to 24 year olds.
However, this does not reflect a decline in overall civic responsibility by this up-and-coming generation. Reports show that about 75 percent of millennials have contributed to charity in the last five years.
Millennials recognize the importance of civic responsibility, yet, the time they have available for volunteerism in public safety is decreasing due to the fast-paced professional world many crave. This deficit in available volunteers has placed a hardship on volunteer fire and emergency services departments.