Maintaining volunteer firefighter numbers:adding value to the retention coin

McLennan, Jim and Birch, Adrian and Cowlishaw, Sean and Hayes, Peter J. (2009) Maintaining volunteer firefighter numbers:adding value to the retention coin. Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 24 (2). pp. 40-47. ISSN 1324-1540

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Abstract

Annual resignation rates for Australian volunteerbased fire agencies range from about 6.7% to 8.3% of total volunteer firefighter memberships. We report two studies investigating aspects of volunteer retention. (1) Analysis of 396 exit survey returns from former volunteers found that reasons contributing to resigning were: Work/ Family needs, 51%; Moved from the area, 38%; Age/Health issues, 28%; Dissatisfaction with the volunteer role, 25%. A major contributor to Dissatisfaction was poor brigade leadership. (2) A survey of 514 second-year volunteers found that higher levels of volunteer satisfaction, and thus intention to remain, were associated strongly with being a member of a well-led, inclusive, and harmonious brigade. Overall, the findings indicated the need for agencies to: (a) distinguish unavoidable reasons for resigning (Moved; Age/ Health issues) from potentially avoidable reasons (Work/family needs; Dissatisfaction); (b) endeavour to balance the demands on volunteers and the needs of their volunteers' work and family life; and (c) enhance the quality of brigade leadership and management.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Australian Journal of Emergency Management
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3600/3604
Subjects:
ID Code:
65291
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
18 Jun 2013 10:13
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
25 Mar 2020 04:31