The majority of the people in the State of Louisiana are served by volunteer fire and EMS workers. Proof exists that the number of volunteers are not sufficient to meet the needs. This puts almost all communities served by volunteers at risk, and shortage of responding volunteers also puts the volunteers themselves at risk.
It is the intent of the LSFA to use the grant funds to benefit all the volunteer and combination departments in the state. Although the LSFA is not seeking to obtain statewide volunteer department compliance with NFPA 1720, some volunteer or combination departments may be able to achieve compliance with additional recruits provided by this program.
The LSFA’s goal is to recruit 337 new volunteer firemen and women to its ranks this year and the same amount the following year. The "tuition reimbursement" scholarship incentive will add 100 more recruits who will commit to two years of service and certification. The addition of these men and women to our ranks reduces risk statewide.
The LSFA spends all of its income on member benefits. These benefits are recruitment and retention incentives. The LSFA does not have financial resources to fund any additional programs. The LSFA must have Federal funding, as no other source exists.
The LSFA will ensure that ethnic minority groups and women are encouraged and targeted, by emphasizing participation in all television advertising footage. Priority will be given to minorities and women in the application and qualifying process of the “tuition reimbursement” program. Encouraging minority and women to volunteer will increase minority and female membership in the LSFA.The LSFA believes that the success of volunteer organizations depends on its membership reflecting the diversity of the community it serves.
The main objectives of the Safer Grant program are:
- Increase public awareness of the role and importance of emergency services.
- Educate public as to the importance volunteerism for supporting and maintaining emergency services.
- Encourage volunteerism through aggressively advertising and marketing.
- Increase the ranks of both paid professional and volunteer professional fire and emergency service workers.