Retention and recruitment workshop to be hosted for Westmoreland fire departments |

Retention and recruitment workshop to be hosted for Westmoreland fire departments

Megan Tomasic

Leaders from 60 Westmoreland County fire departments have the opportunity to attend a two-day retention training program this September.

Hosted by Adapt Management, a grant management and marketing firm, the workshop will focus on recruiting and retaining firefighters, said Greg Redden, president of the firm. The workshop will focus on how to use benefits from the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grant more effectively.

A $4.33 million federal SAFER grant was awarded to Westmoreland County fire departments Sept. 1, 2017, and is administered by the Hempfield Bureau of Fire. The grant provides money to departments for recruiting and training, to provide retention incentives and repay tuition fees. Hempfield supervisors voted in June to contract grant management to Adapt.

Hosting workshops across the country, Redden works with seven retention and recruitment instructors who specialize in helping rural volunteer fire departments.

Chief Greg Render, with Signal Hill Fire Department in Illinois, and Chief Mike Morgan of the Colorado River Fire Rescue will present at the Hempfield workshop.

Render holds an associate of applied science degree in fire science and a bachelor of science degree in organizational leadership. He is also a certified executive fire officer, past president of the Illinois Fire Chiefs and manages two career employees, 28 volunteers and 22 associate members.

Morgan has worked for 29 years in the fire and EMS systems, both as a volunteer and career firefighter. He was the first paid employee of the Rifle Fire Protection District, a Colorado fire station, is an active member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs and manages 45 career employees, 30 volunteers, 30 part-time employees and six fire stations.

The workshops typically draw up to 40 attendees, Redden said. The Westmoreland workshop has room for 60 participants.

“Recruiting new volunteer firefighters is a community wide challenge,” Redden said. “Anyone who is interested in helping with this challenge is welcome to join us.”

Adapt recruitment workshops review recruitment challenges, create marketing materials for individual stations and teach fire leaders how to use social media for recruitment efforts.

During an Aug. 3 workshop, Adapt officials also announced new SAFER grant benefits including additional tuition reimbursement perks and accidental death and dismemberment insurance and a disability insurance policy for volunteer firefighters.

The workshop will run Sept. 28-29 at the Waterworks Pub and Event Center in South Greensburg. Those interested can call 855-865-3473 for more information or to register for the event.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
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