Southern Region EMS Council Recruitment Retention



Support group

Southern Region EMS Council


A monthly training with dinner held for ALS instructors locally, separate from the in-house training provided during run reviews, etc. May or may not be held at a department. Please click on a tab to view the topic.

  • Retention
  • Cross training with prehospital/hospital/other resources
  • Access to National Standards training
  • Provide a neutral training venue for multiple departments to relax together in with less formality than typical trainings
  • Bring the mountain to Muhammad- i.e., provide high-quality training at a local level for providers who struggle to attend symposiums/central trainings due to distance and time commitments.
  • Allow ALS providers (EMT II, III, paramedic combination) to participate vs. run trainings. ALS providers generally run trainings.
  • Skip “station business” at training time
  • Training for two hours, one night a month
  • Dinner provided (potluck, main dish, or pass the hat for pizza)
  • Can be hands-on skills or presentation
  • Skips crazy months - December and June
  • CME’s issued
  • Shoot for six or more providers per training
  • I hold fast to the ALS vs. BLS at training. It is so rare for training to be ALS specific.
  • Medical director(s) given a summary yearly on activities and attendees
  • Instructors; Regional Hospital, Providence Hospital, Burn centers, Medical Directors, local ER trauma coordinators, pediatric Intensivist, anyone foolish enough to answer my phone calls
  • Identify training resource,i.e., local SimMan that can be used, ALS baby, State EMS/Disaster preparedness resources. (State has a trauma manikin, but needs lead time for scheduling).
  • Ask for community help with local B&B support to house traveling instructors. I have found this critical as there is no money paid to reimburse instructors.
  • Hold a similar monthly training for BLS providers, with instructors calibrated for topics pertinent to level (changes to spinal, how to run a code when your ALS is out of town, etc.)
  • Not holding it regularly. I schedule it for the 3rd Thursday of every month, then find the instructors who can do those dates, vs. walk it around the calendar based on instructor availability. I would rather send out an e-mail canceling it (or run a simple ALS skills night with dinner) than move it
  • Not including some ALS providers. Anyone gets into the e-mail list who wants in. Who cares whether they have a Medical Director or not. If there is a major personality conflict, I make sure to notify both parties that the other is invited. NEUTRAL!
  • Not feeding people. Breaking bread together is powerful.
  • Pitfall- including BLS providers. This seems cruel, but ALS providers are usually the leaders in a call and don’t want to appear unsure or undertrained. It also allows the training to stay on an ALS level. Hold firm on this.


A line of photos, regularly added to, that is prominently displayed in the department with headings


  • Recruitment
  • Retention


  • Shows timeline of your department
  • Depending on setting, provides visual pride in members to public
  • Links current and past generations esp. in a small town
  • Recruitment opportunity in visual image to build the desire to “join the family”

Method of Enactment:

  • Buy a whole bunch of frames
  • Take photos, preferably in exciting settings (mass casualty training, live fires, etc) and either print them or have them printed at Costco/Shutterfly/etc.
  • Make sure that labels are displayed under them with names and year joined. If there are family members, try to group families.


  • It is invaluable to have an in-house photographer for this! This is a great add-on to your department in general, also great for members who cannot meet the physical levels required for EMS


  • Have a special spot for Volunteer of the Month with a notation underneath with a notation of what their special contribution is that month/year/century


  • Not getting around to adding members or skipping members.
  • With the exception of members who specifically request that they not be photographed, you must include all members.
  • Failure in this taps into a deep set reason that people volunteer- they like to have their actions acknowledged, not usually for money, but simply recognized. If others receive this and they do NOT, you have created exclusion. Bad.


A publication, weekly or monthly, from your department to your members.

  • Recruitment
  • Retention
  • Keep members informed on upcoming training
  • Help publicize upcoming initial classes, like EMT I or FF 1. Our best recruiters are our members.
  • Appreciation for volunteers
  • Promotes people coming to the station* see below
  • Agree on contributors, write the dang thing
  • Offer it as an e-mail or a paper issue to members
  • Important- for probationary (new) members, make sure they have to stop at the station to pick it up! This gets them used to coming to the station, creates the feeling of family, etc.
  • Include the calendar always.
  • A printer and an e-mail list.
  • Bonus- if you have someone willing to do the Photo page, getting event photos out is a real plus. Everyone wants to see photos from the live burn.
  • Add in a thank-you spot for volunteers who helped in something special; things like washing a unit, volunteering at a standby, sweeping the floor after a class.
  • Failure to get it out on time. EMS people are funny; we tend to be habit driven. Try getting it out late and watch them melt down.