Partnering with Schools to Grow Your Junior Program

Volunteer fire companies stand to reinvigorate the spirit of community service through developing a working relationship with local high schools. Through a targeted partnership, schools can provide fire companies with appropriate students; those that have already demonstrated character, initiative, and promise. In turn, the fire companies can make available ample opportunity for the accumulation of documented service hours in the form of training, fire academy classes, and call response. Developing a school day, onsite program is too often prohibitively costly and labor issue for both fire companies who are witnessing declining numbers, and for school districts who lack the resources to provide additional courses. School officials, it should be noted, are keen to engage community organizations, particularly entities that have a public profile, transparent operations, and a track record of success in working with adolescents. An off-campus, post-school day program is attractive for the simple fact that it does not limit a student’s academic programming. It is also easy to promote as a "resume builder" for students looking to have an usual profile with which they can attract more interest from employers, military recruiters, and universities. This model may also prove the simplest way by which the fire company can diversify their membership as the school officials can help encourage young women and people of color to consider a volunteer organization they might otherwise not have exposure to as a service opportunity. This session aims to be a working meeting to help interested fire company leaders in creating a junior program that, with school validation, enables students to earn academic credit for the work they already provide to fire companies. Bring your experiences, your questions, and your ideas to the class, and walk away with new perspectives on an approach that may work for your firehouse.

Ellen Yarborough
Date & Time
Thursday, September 29, 2022, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM