Catering to millennials: Challenges in recruiting volunteers for fire and EMS

Politics, financial constraints and increased educational demands contribute to a disinterest by millennials to engage in a volunteer role

By Dr. Shana Nicholson and Joseph Heaton
American Military University

What drives 20-somethings, also known as the millennial generation, is dramatically different than generation’s past. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reportedthat 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.

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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.

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