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In Public Safety
by American Military University

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.

Read full storyCatering to Millennials: Challenges in Recruiting Volunteers for EMS and Fire

About the author

In Public Safety is an American Military University (AMU) sponsored blog that features analysis and commentary on issues relating to law enforcement, emergency management, fire services and national intelligence. This blog features in-depth discussions authored by leading experts with decades of experience in their field. To stay updated on blog posts and other news relevant to these sectors, please follow us on Facebook by "liking" AMU & APUS Public Safety Programs. You can also follow us on our sector-specific Twitter accounts: @AMUPoliceEd, @AMUFireEd, @AMUDisasterEd, @AMUIntelStudies
The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Josh Prull Josh Prull Wednesday, July 09, 2014 12:20:45 AM At least in my state, volunteering is likely on the decline due to so many agencies either not accepting volunteers, having an incredibly competitive process (usually equal to hiring) or having stringent requirements for living within the area. I know dozens of 20 something's who'd jump at the chance to volunteer absolutely anywhere they could... but they can't.
Dominick Walenczak Dominick Walenczak Wednesday, July 09, 2014 12:27:29 PM Solution: Go paid. Problem = Solved.

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