4 Ways to Manage a Thriving Volunteer EMS Organization

Research into non-profit and public sector organizations can help leaders of volunteer and combined EMS departments understand their members’ motivations

By Michael Ward

Volunteer EMS and fire agencies throughout the United States have increasingly turned to paid or paid-on-call staff to supplement volunteer staffing. This has created an us-versus-them situation that interferes with the delivery of high-value emergency services.

Sarah Jane Rehnborg, Ph.D., of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at the University of Texas at Austin, studied active non-profit and public sector organization executives to learn what works for volunteer effectiveness. Her findings provide a framework for smart utilization of caregivers within an emergency service system staffed by a combination of paid and volunteer members [1].

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