FASP R & R Tip of the Month #19

Recruit Through Public Engagement


Since the Inception of the Firefighter’s Association of the State of Pennsylvania SAFER Grant Recruitment and Retention project, we have helped fund and learned of many successful recruiting efforts through public engagement efforts.


Successful public engagement efforts in Pennsylvania have included the following:

  • Opening the fire station to the public during fire prevention week, for visits
  • Participating in Community Days with a table/booth/recruitment tent
  • Attending high school and local college events with a table for recruitment
  • Participating with other organizations at their sponsored events with a recruitment effort
  • Going out into public venues to provide fire prevention programs, recruiting at the same time
  • Working with local police departments on National Night Out events


Of course, there is also the social media route where options for engagement abound. The key is knowing which sites may produce results.


You are encouraged to visit www.becomeapafirefighter.com to learn more about successful efforts, but remember this:  There are two key challenges to public engagement success (1) how do you make the public aware of the opportunities you offer, and (2) how do you impress upon them the value of their public service.


Public engagement works when trying to recruit new members. Public engagement efforts take time, resources, funds, and personal involvement. Many times you cannot do it with existing members, and the Chief can’t take this added role on. Look outside your Successes are evident, it takes you to initiate the program and achieve the success.