Flourtown Fire Company was recently recognized for our efforts in the recruitment and retention of new members by the Pennsylvania State Firemen’s Association. The mentoring program was formally adopted by the fire company in 2008, as a result of the efforts of Captain Chris Manning, who has spent countless hours developing, refining, and leading the program to make it a success.
Below, are some highlights of the program that illustrate why it has been so successful in Flourtown Fire Company’s recruitment and retention of new members.
Purpose of the Mentoring Program
The Flourtown Fire Company believes that through quality training, the availability of leading edge equipment and the guidance and support of a senior member, new members will be able to make great achievements in their career as a firefighter. With this philosophy the mentoring program is designed to give new members every advantage and opportunity to become a successful member of the Flourtown Fire Company.
The program is administered by the Mentor Program Coordinator, Fire Chief and Training Officer with the assistance of a Mentoring Committee intended to assist in program review and development.
Mentoring Program Highlights
The Mentoring Program is designed to be as detailed as possible for the mentors and the new members so that a truly structured program can be presented with consistency for all involved. Elements of the program include:
- Program integrity
- Fire ground related safety
- SOG familiarization
- Required training for new members
- Performance reviews
- Administrative Orientation
- NFFF Everyone Goes Home Firefighter Life Safety Resource Kit
- Apparatus Familiarization
- Response Area Orientation
- Fire Operations Orientation
- Equipment Familiarization
- County Emergency Operations Center and 911 Dispatch Familiarization Tour
Program Success by the Numbers
The Mentoring Program has had a total of 32 personnel that have either completed the program or that are currently enrolled. Of the 32 personnel a total of 24 have been retained leaving five personnel that left due to commitments to education, military service or family. Those five members are considered excused dismissals, while three personnel could not meet expectations of the program and were removed.
Nine firefighters started the program as junior firefighters and are now regular members.
Five of the members that were mentees in the program have moved on to become mentors.
One member that began as a mentee now holds an elected administrative position in the company.
The following information shows how the retention of mentees have been able to replace members lost due to attrition as well as bolstering membership by eight working force fire personnel since 2008:
- In 2008 the working force roster had a total of 46 members listed which included Fire Officers (5), Driver/Operators (14), Fire Police (7) and Firefighters (20).
- In 2014 after six years of maturing the mentoring program the working force roster currently has 54 members which includes Fire Officers (6), Driver/Operators (15), Fire Police (4) and Firefighters (29).