Employee Retention in a Combination Fire Department   [open pdf - 190KB]

"The Urbandale Fire Department (UFD) has experienced an increased turnover of part-time (PT) and paid-on-call (POC) employees. The purpose of this Applied Research Project (ARP) was to identify reasons why UFD has difficulty retaining PT and POC employees. The following research questions were developed to attain results using the Descriptive Research Method: a) What are the challenges to employee retention in non-fire organizations who utilize PT personnel? b) What are the experiences of other departments with a similar profile to UFD in regards to employee retention? c) What impacts do the demographics of Urbandale have on the retention of PT and POC employees? d) What reasons do current PT and POC employees have for being on the Urbandale Fire Department? e) What reasons do PT and POC employees give for leaving UFD? Questionnaires were given to current and former UFD employees, as well as other combination fire departments with a profile similar to Urbandale. Interviews were conducted with other non-fire service organizations in Urbandale to obtain their experiences with employee retention. A literature review and comparison of demographic data was also used to compare Urbandale to other organizations and communities. Results of these procedures yielded that UFD employees have needs and perceptions comparable to all organization types. UFD employees identified training requirements, pay/benefits, and UFD personnel as primary reasons for the increased employee turnover. Establishing a formal exit interview process, an employee development program, and initiating a pay/benefit evaluation were identified as ways to address the perceived causes of increased turnover at UFD."

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United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/
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