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Strategies of Leadership: Recruiting and Retaining Emergency Services Personnel

Winter Fire School

Bruce Piringer

Director (RET)
University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute

Bruce Piringer was director of the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute between 1986 and 2002. He is currently an adjunct instructor for the Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute, teaching courses in incident command and instructor development. After retiring from the University in 2002, Piringer was an Assistant Fire Chief and training officer for the Boone County (Missouri) Fire Protection District for nearly three years. Among his final accomplishments at the University of Missouri Fire and Rescue Training Institute were: a mobile aircraft rescue and firefighting simulator; and, expanded program offerings in emergency management, preparedness, consequence management and counter terrorism. The Institute enrolled more than 21,500 firefighters in 1,011 courses in 2002. Prior to joining the University of Missouri faculty in July 1986, Piringer served for five and a half years  with the National Fire Academy Field Programs Division.

His extracurricular activities have included serving as a fire training consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to the U.S. Fire Administration on public fire safety education, an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy and as a lecturer for the International Society of Fire Service Instructors on fireground operations. Active in a number of national and international fire associations and organizations, Piringer served eight years on the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications board of directors. He is a former board member of the Fire Department Safety Officer’s Association, a past chair of the North American Fire Training Directors association and past chair of the NFPA instructor professional qualifications standard committee. He also served on review teams for the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service.

Piringer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Geography from the University of Maryland and has completed post-graduate work in vocational-technical education at Western Kentucky University and in public administration at Kentucky State University.

  • Start: 8:00 A.M., Friday, February 2, 2018
  • End: 5:30 P.M., Friday, February 2, 2018

This class is a special delivery on Friday only and is presented at no cost.

This class will focus on the issues of recruitment and retention for volunteer organizations. The program will be introduced in separate segments: Recruitment Strategies will focus on how to merge the organizations goals and objectives (more volunteers) with their customer’s goals. The class assists in identifying the various customers of the department and describes a proven, practical method of informing customers. The R.O.P.E. (Research, Objectives, Program, Evaluation) process is used to develop a program to recruit volunteers. Participants leave with an outline of a recruitment plan developed specifically for their community. Retention Strategies focuses on the important need to retain existing volunteers. These volunteers, then, become recruiters for future volunteers. To increase retention, five tactical approaches are spotlighted. They include: leadership; emotional support; training; fun; and, recognition and incentives. Combined with these tactics, recruitment is then organized around organizational, personal and operational considerations. Participants will leave with practical, proven ideas to retain their current volunteer cadre.