Journal article

Maintaining volunteer firefighter numbers: Adding value to the retention coin

J McLennan, A Birch, S Cowlishaw, P Hayes

Australian Journal of Emergency Management | Published : 2009


Annual resignation rates for Australian volunteer-based 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, i..

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