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Get ready for National Volunteer Week

National Volunteer Week is coming up on April 18-24, and this is a great time to both recognise the volunteers in your department and recruit new members. The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is also marking the occasion with a series of initiatives to support the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue community.

Throughout National Volunteer Week, the NVFC will be sending out eblasts and information highlighting special opportunities available to members of the volunteer fire and emergency services. You can get an advance look at some of these initiatives here. Additional opportunities will be announced during the week. If you do not currently receive the NVFC’s Dispatch newsletter and eblasts, sign up now to make sure you receive these notices.

Also tune in for some special events happening in honour of volunteers. On April 20, renowned speaker Neen James will be presenting a webinar to discuss how to achieve more with less time, a topic particularly useful for volunteer firefighters who typically have many competing priorities. On May 4, the NVFC will recognise International Firefighters’ Day with a special Facebook Live discussion featuring volunteer firefighters from across the globe.

For departments looking to use National Volunteer Week to recruit new members, check out the new recruitment materials now available in the Make Me A Firefighter campaign department portal. It is free to register, and you can use the materials generator to create and customize a variety of outreach materials, including social media posts, flyers, postcards, table tents, and more. Remember to add your volunteer opportunities to the national database so prospective volunteers can find you when they go to www.MakeMeAFirefighter.org.

In addition, you can learn tips for recruiting new members by watching this Facebook Live discussion on Fire Service Recruitment Solutions During COVID-19 and Beyond.

National Volunteer Week is also the perfect time to thank the volunteers in your department for the hard work and dedication they put in all year. Recognition can take many forms, such as a press release to local media, a post on your department’s web site and social media, a proclamation through the city or town council, handwritten thank you notes to all your volunteers, or small tokens of appreciation. Find more ideas for volunteer recognition from Fire Corps and Points of Light. To give your volunteers national recognition, your department can become a certifying organization for the President’s Volunteer Service Award.