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How can we improve morale at our fire department?

Several members left during COVID, and many remaining members feel beaten down or unsure how to establish a “family feeling” with the rookies

In this episode of “What’s YOUR Problem?” Deputy Chief Billy Goldfeder tackles a question related to an issue plaguing many departments: low morale among members:

I work on a paid-on-call department for a town in Alberta. We work hard to maintain great relations with the community, but the last couple of years have beaten us down a bit, and we’ve had a lot of personnel changes. Several older members left the department during COVID, so those of us who have only been here for five years or so are stepping up into more senior roles. We also have a ton of rookies who don’t know how we operated pre-pandemic. They aren’t aware of the huge time commitment we make to connect with the community and maintain our skills – and they don’t yet know that “family feeling” of the fire station. I’m looking to get back to our roots and re-establish the culture of servitude and brotherhood that we had before. Do you have any suggestions for us?

Do you have a question for Chief Goldfeder? Email or submit a question here.

Watch more What’s YOUR Problem? videos here.

Chief Billy Goldfeder, EFO, a firefighter since 1973, serves as deputy fire chief of the Loveland-Symmes (Ohio) Fire Department. He also serves as Lexipol’s senior fire advisor and is a member of the Fire Chief/FireRescue1 Editorial Advisory Board. Goldfeder is a member of the Board of Directors for several organizations: the IAFC, the September 11th Families Association and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF). He also provides expert review assistance to the CDC NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program. Goldfeder is the recipient of numerous operational and administrative awards, appointments and recognitions. He has served on several NFPA and IAFC committees, has authored numerous articles and books, and presented several sessions at industry events. Chief Goldfeder co-hosts the website
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