R.C. Volunteer Emergency Services
Campaign Development | Advertising | Web Sites | Collateral Materials | Videos | Interactive Kiosk

Could You be One of the Ones?

Situation: Just 30 miles north of New York City, Rockland County is one of the few counties in the country remaining all-volunteer. Unfortunately, in the last two decades, the number of emergency calls had increased by 275% and the number of volunteers had declined by 8%.

With 26 companies operating 41 stations consisting of over 3,000 volunteer responders and support personnel, it’s no small task to stay properly manned.

Challenge: Increase the number of volunteers when less and less people are volunteering and convince local businesses to stand behind the Volunteer Services.

Solution: CF was asked to craft a multi-faceted campaign that would help. We created specialized campaigns targeted for youth (16 – 25) and adults (25 – 65+) focusing on community service and pride of accomplishment.

By highlighting actual volunteers and their ‘day jobs’ we reminded the public that Rockland’s services were performed by volunteers from within their own communities. The slogan “Could You Be One of the Ones?” instilled a sense of pride in both recruits and existing members.

For the business community, we focused on the horrendous increase in taxes a paid firefighting corps would require and encouraged companies to allow their employees to volunteer and respond as needed in crisis situations.

In addition to traditional print, radio and tv advertising, videos for in-person presentations to schools and organizations were created and posted on a new web site and social media vehicles. An interactive kiosk and exhibitry were produced for home shows and local community colleges.

Result: R.C.F.D. enjoyed a 90% increase in volunteers for the three year period after the campaign was launched and the county’s Fire Training Center is struggling to offer enough training courses to accommodate all of its new candidates.

Bonus: In 2012, New York State’s Fire Association (FASNY) utilized Rockland’s program as the model for its own FEMA grant request and its recruitment & retention campaigns.

“With a force of over 3,000 men and women, recruitment is key to maintaining a strong service and Canned Fire has shown an incredible responsiveness to our needs in every facet of our operations. As a direct result of Canned Fire’s efforts, our recruitment numbers for firefighters in Rockland County almost doubled.”

Frank Hutton, President
Committee for Volunteerism in Rockland County Emergency Services, Inc.

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