I recently interviewed Jason Zigmont, volunteer fire fighter and founder of VolunteerFD.org, a resource for volunteer fire departments across the country.

What made you decide to start VolunteerFD.org?

I started VolunteerFD.org in 2002 to provide a resource to bring volunteer departments together.  In traveling around the country I found that while the location changes, many of the problems in the 25000+ volunteer departments across the country were the same, which meant we could all grow by sharing our problems and solutions.

How long have you been involved with volunteer firefighting?

I have ‘officially’ been a Volunteer Firefighter for 15 years.  I say officially because I grew up in the fire service.  My father was Chief of the Kensington Fire Department and my mother loves to say I responded to my first call during Storm Larry as she was 9 months pregnant with me and providing food and shelter during the storm at the department.

What got you involved with volunteer firefighting?

It was definitely the family connection and wanting to help others.  I follow a saying by Zig Ziglar: “You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

What is it like to be a volunteer firefighter?

We spend a lot of time training, raising funds and doing the ‘less glamourous’ stuff of running an organization.  Fire safety initiatives have lowered the amount of actual working fires so they are few and far between, but we always need to be ready.

VolunteerFD.org focuses on Bylaws, Fund Raising, Grants, Recruitment and Retention, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, and Training. How did you choose the specific topics your website covers?

I choose the topics based upon talking with departments across the US and emails I receive.  I seem to get at least one email everyday from a department that either has a problem or has had a great success.  Sharing this information is key to everyone growing and improving the service as a whole.

What is the most important message you would like to give fellow volunteers?

Volunteers need to share their problems and solutions to ensure we all can learn and improve.

To learn more about VolunteerFD.org, check out http://www.VolunteerFD.org.

Know a great volunteer or volunteer organization? Leave me a comment or email me through this link to let me know!