What To Expect: NVFC's Guide For Volunteer Family Members
I truly believe the success of every member is directly correlated with family support. Remember, their lives are also about to change or have already and they too have to make sacrifices when you answer the tone. I share this because I believe family is just as important to your success and retention at Three Star, as is every firefighter you interact with, in this new challenge you have embarked on. One of my functions, as Fire Chief, is your success, retention, and happiness, and that includes that of your family's as well. I invite each of your family members to get engaged and or be a part of Three Star. Whether with the auxiliary, non-fire or non-operational side, EMS, home support and balance, or other collateral duties, there is a place for all in a volunteer department. While there are many challenges in the volunteer firefighting world, there can also be many rewards.
If it's a child under the age of 18, they too can participate. Bring them all up to the station, let them see what Daddy does, his locker, allow them to touch and feel equipment/apparatus, etc.. I want your family to feel welcomed and invited at Three Star and I am inviting you to engage your family members. Provide them an insight of why you volunteer, the work involved, and hours required, so they, too, can contribute or give you the support needed. Whether you have been a volunteer for years, or just beginning, it's never too late to prepare the family for the time commitment required and explain to them why the training, meetings, and other work details are necessary.
Joining the volunteer fire service means a lifestyle change not only for you, but also for your entire family. To help your family members navigate the volunteer fire service life, I have attached "What to Expect: A Guide for Family Members of Volunteer Firefighters." from the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC). I only wish I had come across this years ago when I first started out. Some great points and supporting perspectives. Thank you NVFC.
This guide is intended for your spouse, children, parents, siblings, or significant others of the volunteer. It introduces family members to the basics of the volunteer firefighter life and provides guidance for keeping family relationships strong, being part of the fire department family, and more. There are also first-hand accounts from volunteer firefighters and their family members along with an array of tips and resources to help first responder families adjust to this lifestyle.
Thanks for all you do for your community.