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Change the culture and the recruitment numbers will rise.
When the "old guard-good old boy, powers that be" decide to allow everyone who is willing and able to participate in an opportunity to serve their communities, the rate of enrollment will increase and the rate of attrition will decrease.
It is very difficult to hang on to recruits when the practice of abuse and disrespect is so prevalent in so many departments whose leadership enjoys making "probies" feel uncomfortable and not part of the group as part of time honored and foolish right of passage rituals.
Few people are comfortable with being the brunt of a joke, being laughed at when they try their best to do a job that is not actually connected to the service just to see someone who is unaware be fooled. It only creates resentment and a loss of trust in the future in a business that is based on trust of your fellow Firemen. It is past time for department trainers and top officers to behave like adults and respect the fact that they are being afforded a resource that is in great demand and must not be wasted.
For the readers of this posting who feel I am exaggerating or wrong about the abuses that are mentioned above as well as many others, I offer this link to another posting by Firerescue1 which is one of dozens found in the past 12 months proving the abuses are real and the cost is high : DEPARTMENT ABUSE STORIES
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