Buncombe County Fire Chiefs Association part of a critical firefighter recruitment campaign

Press release from NC Association of Fire Chiefs:

Fire Chiefs receive FEMA SAFER grant to Address North Carolina Volunteer Firefighter Shortage 

The North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs (NCAFC), in partnership with the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), is launching an urgent volunteer firefighter recruitment campaign across 14 North Carolina departments and associations.

During Fire Prevention Month in October, especially Fire Prevention Week from the 8th to the 14th, the NCAFC would like to highlight this important initiative. This campaign is part of the Workforce Solutions program designed to help North Carolina’s fire departments achieve a viable and sustainable volunteer firefighter workforce. The program is a nationally-funded grant awarded to the NCAFC to enhance the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Fire Prevention Week highlights the importance of cooking safety this year. Cooking fires account for 51% of all home fires. The national website offers tips and articles on fire prevention in the home. Departments across the state are committed to informing and educating their communities on the importance of fire safety and prevention.

With over 80% of all North Carolina firefighters being volunteers, the need for volunteers is always in high demand. Since 2020, North Carolina has lost 4,963 volunteer firefighters, making this recruitment effort more critical than ever. We need more volunteers in our state to ensure our homes are safe and protected.

Volunteering is a rewarding experience and one of the best ways someone can make a direct, tangible difference in their community. Volunteer firefighters gain invaluable skills and    knowledge while having a positive, lasting impact on the lives of their neighbors. Local fire departments need volunteers of all skill levels and abilities – from operational firefighters to administrative personnel – who are willing and able to respond to emergencies when needed.

“Local volunteers provide the bedrock of North Carolina’s firefighter workforce,” said Chief Tracy Mosley, program manager, NCAFC. “We understand that the safety of our communities relies on fully staffed and trained departments, and based on the success of past campaigns, we’re eager to launch this next iteration to transform our state’s volunteer fire service landscape.”

North Carolina’s two-year recruitment and retention campaign targets 14 at-risk fire departments/associations across the state’s east, west, and Piedmont regions. These include:

  • Brunswick County Fire Chiefs Association
  • Buncombe County Fire Chiefs Association
  • Chinquapin Volunteer Fire and Rescue
  • Cleveland County Firefighters Association
  • Forsyth County Fire and Rescue Association
  • Martin County Fire Association
  • McDowell Fire and Rescue Association
  • Pitt County Firefighters’ Association
  • Randolph County Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Ranlo Fire and Rescue
  • Smith Grove Fire Department
  • Silver Lake Volunteer Fire Department
  • Wayne County Firefighters Association
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