International Association of Fire Chiefs
IAFC-VCOS VISION Project
September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten by the nation's emergency services organizations (ESOs). Statistics indicate that volunteerism is declining in this country, a national issue. Of the approximately 1,160,000 fire and emergency services personnel, it is estimated that between 75% and 80% are volunteers. A 2009 study indicated that 57% of the nation's estimated 27,700 volunteer fire and EMS departments were losing volunteers, a national problem. The ability of the country's ESOs to respond to natural or manmade disasters is in jeopardy if the trend continues.
The International Association of Fire Chiefs-Volunteer and Combination Officers Section (IAFC-VCOS) has identified eight major factors that are impediments to the success and growth of volunteer ESOs. Strategic Initiatives have been identified to guide ESOs though the challenges hindering their growth and success.
The IAFC-VCOS VISION Project has been developed to provide best practice solutions and to create national programs/policies to create thriving volunteer ESOs. The mission of the program is to create and continually update an online web portal that will be easily accessible by the ESO leaders across the country.