- Organize an open house committee that meets frequently beginning at least two months before the open house is scheduled.
- Consider having one individual responsible for each of the following areas or delegating specific tasks to specific members for accountability sake.
Open House Promotion: Two Weeks Before
- Put up yard signs and banners.
- Submit a news article to your local newspaper.
- Place flyers that reflect the excitement of firefighting and rescue service in stores, gas stations, and around your community.
- Make arrangements to speak to or distribute flyers to members of Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions Clubs and your local Chamber of Commerce.
- Target your local high schools: make arrangements for a table display early in the week of your open house.
- Enlist members to ensure that the facilities and equipment are spotless.
- Plan to offer refreshments, if feasible. People respond to free food and beverages.
- Have visitors register for a drawing. Local businesses will donate gift certificates for pizza and other meals at their restaurants. Your hardware store may even offer a certificate for a reduced price on smoke detectors, which you can distribute to people attending the open house.
Open House Activities
- Download Fire In You resource materials to show potential recruits during your open house.
For example: Hang up a Fire In You poster in your department; share the Fire In You brochure with potential recruits at your open house; and play the commercial while potential recruits are at your station during your open house.
- Plan activities to provide both education and a hands-on experience that will stimulate interest in your visitors.
- Direct a hand line with another member.
- Show an extinguisher technique using a Bullex system.
- Review the turnout gear and SCBA.
- Demonstrate the Jaws of Life.
- Have displays (fire police, etc.) showing their important role in the fire service.
- Have people experience what it’s like to perform CPR chest compression techniques.
- Host an electronic recycling event during your open house, which will draw plenty of traffic and can double as a fundraising opportunity.
After the Event
- Follow up with the people who registered at the open house. Applicant enrollment is critical to our future.
- Fill out a Volunteer Profile Form for all new recruits.