This FREE two-day immersive, interactive event will focus on strategy and tactics for your recruitment efforts with actionable education on a variety of topics you can take back to your department to have an immediate and sustainable impact.

Whether you’re new to recruitment or an R&R veteran, you’ll come away with fresh approaches and new ideas — presented by national and in-state recruitment experts.

  • When: Saturday, May 18 & Sunday, May 19 (Attend Both or Either Day)
  • Where: MFRI Headquarters, College Park
  • Who Should Attend: Recruitment & Retention Coordinators & Team Members, Department Leadership, Members Interested in Helping with R&R Efforts

The topics covered will include:

  • Creating and executing a strategic recruitment plan
  • Identifying and educating internal stakeholders to help drive recruitment efforts
  • Developing and executing a marketing program
  • Optimizing your website to drive recruitment and community engagement
  • Leveraging Facebook & Social Media organically and via paid marketing
  • Utilizing Google’s Non-Profit program (and others) for free advertising, IT tools and more
  • Winning at face-to-face recruiting: How to have a conversation about volunteering
  • Tracking and managing volunteer on boarding and progression
  • Starting and growing a successful youth program
  • Building community equity through partnerships
  • Schedule, Speaker Bios & More Coming Soon

Register Now - Free

Registration is FREE for any member of a Maryland or neighboring state volunteer fire, rescue or EMS department involved with or interested in Recruitment & Retention at their organization, including leadership.

Registration includes two days of interactive workshops, lunch and a network event Saturday evening. You can attend both or individual days. Discounted hotels are available.

If you have any questions about the event, hotel/accommodations, are interested in speaking or being part of a panel, or issues with this form, please email [email protected]

Featured Presenters

Dr. Candice McDonald
DBA, PIO, Firefighter/EMT – Winona, OH Fire Department


Capt. Wesley Huey (US Navy, ret.)
Chief Learning Officer at Skyline Technology Solutions

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Matt Aalto
Lieutenant/Training Officer – Gaston (OR) Fire District & Orgeon Fire Recruitment Network


Tom LaBelle
Deputy Fire Chief – Henrico (VA) Division of Fire & Virginia Fire-EMS Recruitment Retention Network


Jonathan Dayton
Firefighter/EMT, Webmaster & Social Media – Potomac Volunteer Fire Co.

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Christine Bennett
Volunteer Recruitment & Retention Coordinator – Ocean City Fire Department


Interested in speaking or taking part in panel or hot topic discussion? Please email [email protected]

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Event Schedule


0800 0830 Check-in and Registration
0830 0845 Kick-off with Kate Tomanelli
0845 1030 “Thinking Differently”
Keynote by Navy Veteran and Thought Leader Wes Huey
1030 1045 Break
1045 1215 Ensuring the Future: Strategic Planning for Recruitment & Retention
Henrico County, VA Deputy Chief, Tom LaBelle shares the importance of starting with a plan for volunteer recruitment and retention success. Without a solid strategy, how will we ever know if we’re making progress on achieving our goals?
1215 1315 Lunch, Recruiter Showcase & Update
with Dave Iannone & Tiger Schmittendorf
1315 1415 Process is Progress: The need for consistent follow-up and follow-through in maximizing the volunteer life cycle.
Gaston OR Firefighter Matt Aalto and Chief Recruiter Tiger Schmittendorf demonstrate how tracking progress and identifying the gaps where we’re losing volunteers is critical to the survival and success of our emergency services organizations.
1415 1430 Break & Recruiter Showcase
1430 1530 Marketing without Social Media: Could You Imagine???
Fire Recruiter Matt Aalto shows how offline marketing can be successful in supporting online recruitment efforts.
1530 1700 Recruiter Showcase and Roundtable Discussion #1: Is there Recruitment without Retention?
Dr. Candice McDonald will facilitate a group discussion on the interdependency between recruitment and retention and the need for a comprehensive and consistent effort.
1700 1900 Networking Event – Information TBA


0815 0830 Morning Kick-off
0830 0930 Web, Social & Internet-Basics
Recruiter Jonathan Dayton and Firefighter Matt Aalto share the basics of getting online and staying there.
Web, Social & Internet-Advanced
Fire Service Technology Veteran Dave Iannone will show us how to take our online presence to the next level and how an integrated approach to online marketing is integral to your recruitment and retention efforts.
0930 1030 Building Community Equity through Partnerships
Dr. Candice McDonald will explore the connectivity between our public interactions and our ability to establish and maintain long-lasting community partnerships
1030 1045 Break & Recruiter Showcase
1045 1130 The Art of Speed Recruiting: Winning the hand-to-hand combat of recruiting new volunteers
Chief Recruiter Tiger Schmittendorf sets the stage for being successful at “in-your-face” recruiting and the benefits of creating displays that are attractive, interactive and motivating to prospective volunteers
1130 1245 Lunch & Roundtable Discussion #2:

Recruit ‘em Early & Often: Growing an FD Youth Program
Recruitment Strategist Nicole Stotelmyer and a group of panelists offer ways to grow your volunteer fire-rescue organization by investing in your youth and investing in your future

1250 1400 Working Your Plan
Ocean City MD Assistant Chief Jim Jester and Recruiter Christine Bennett share their story of combining grass roots efforts with a strong online presence to succeed at recruitment and retention
1405 1500 Roundtable Discussion #3 & Wrap-up
Instructors and participants will team up to address burning issues and offer real-world solutions in volunteer recruitment and retention