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Recruitment Weekend Success in a Difficult Year for Volunteer Fire Departments

(5/25/21 – Albany, N.Y.) In what has been a challenging year for volunteer firefighter recruitment, ABC came up with a solution for longtime client the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York.

Hundreds of fire departments typically open their doors for open houses across the state during RecruitNY Weekend each April. The event was cancelled in 2020 for obvious reasons. In 2021, we had to figure out a way to draw recruits to the firehouse without the building actually being open to the public.

ABC turned RecruitNY into a virtual initiative, helping equip fire departments with all the digital tools they would need to interact with their communities in a virtual setting. It started with creation of a how-to video that would take department planners through the process step by step.

This was complemented by a downloadable how-to tip sheet that made numerous suggestions for hosting a virtual event. A frequently asked questions document was another new resource that would ensure departments were prepared to answer common queries about the fire service.

We flooded the RecruitNY website with new social media graphics and digital materials that would help promote RecruitNY in whatever form it would take. Customizable flyers, posters and yard signs also gave departments space to include websites and Facebook pages where their virtual events would be happening.

ABC also used a little content marketing to help departments along, writing and publishing stories related to virtual recruitment in the Volunteer Firefighter magazine in the months leading up to the event. The bi-monthly periodical produced by ABC mails to more than 45,000 individuals and departments across the state.

The result? RecruitNY came roaring back from its one-year absence with more than 250 departments doing some form of an open house. ABC is proud to be a part of such a great initiative that helps build up volunteer departments so they can keep our communities safe.