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Recruiting from the 50 Yard Line in Erie County, New York

“In football and in firefighting, drafting the right players is key to the success of your team,” their commercial charges, and that slogan captures the theme of their highly successful volunteer firefighter recruitment campaign headquartered at

Lead on and off the field by the Erie County Department of Emergency Services (, their efforts drafted more than 600 new recruits in 2012, and they’ve already surpassed that goal in 2013. Their success is bucking the national trend of a decline in volunteerism, but their winning seasons aren’t a result of just good luck.

Erie County has been a leader in volunteer firefighter recruitment and retention for decades, putting all their players on the field and pulling out all the stops to bolster and maintain the ranks of its 94 volunteer fire departments with more than 5,000 firefighters countywide.

Their ongoing efforts include TV, radio, outdoor and print ads along with an aggressive social media presence and their innovative MRU-Mobile Recruitment Unit that’s used at public events around the county.

Everything they print, post and say ends with the common call to action:

Join Erie County’s Team of Volunteer Firefighters: More than Five Thousand Strong! With You – We can be stronger!!! Contact your local volunteer fire department or visit to learn more today!

Want to learn more about the campaign? Contact Erie County’s Chief Recruiter Tiger Schmittendorf at [email protected] or 716.777.0205 to learn more about their campaign successes.


Written by First Arriving


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