Talk of the Towns 11/10/21: Recruiting the next generation of volunteer firefighters

Producer/Host: Ron Beard

Community concerns and opportunities: Recruiting the next generation of volunteer firefighters

-What led to your involvement in your town fire department? Who invited you to get involved? Is this a family tradition for you? Why is the role volunteer fire fighter important to you and your community?

-How are changes in your community affecting your ability to staff your department with volunteers? If you look back in time, what were the most effective ways that you brought new volunteers into your department? What works today?

-In general, what are you looking for in volunteers… is there a range of duties and skills that volunteers can contribute? What is the range of time commitments and training expected?

-Please share your top reasons for why you became a firefighter in your town and why you continue to serve


Stephan Blanchard, Lieutenant, Blue Hill Fire Department
Ryan Hayward, Chief, Stonington Fire Department
Brent Morey, Chief, Deer Isle Fire Department
David Carter, Chief, Sedgwick Fire Department
Zach Soares, volunteer firefighter, Bar Harbor Fire Department
Cynder Johnson, volunteer firefighter and EMT, Bar Harbor Fire Department

About the host:
Ron Beard is producer and host of Talk of the Towns, which first aired on WERU in 1993 as part of his community building work as an Extension professor with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant. He took all the journalism courses he could fit in while an undergraduate student in wildlife management and served as an intern with Maine Public Television nightly newscast in the early 1970s. Ron is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic, teaching courses on community development. Ron served on the Bar Harbor Town Council for six years and is currently board chair for the Jesup Memorial Library in Bar Harbor, where he has lived since 1975. Look for him on the Allagash River in June, and whenever he can get away, in the highlands of Scotland where he was fortunate to spend two sabbaticals.