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The IAFC launches interactive development courses to improve workforce morale

The International Association of Fire Chiefs logo

About the IAFC

The IAFC represents the leadership of firefighters and emergency responders worldwide whose members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue, and public safety policy.

Key project features

  • learning platform icon

    Learning platform

  • Storytelling icon

    Storytelling

  • Gamified challenge icon

    Gamified challenge

The challenge

Boost administrative leadership skills to increase morale

Through their network, they identified a business problem: Higher than expected volunteer turnover which was jeopardising the financial stability, quality of service, and ultimately, public safety. Running a fire station is like running a business: it requires business acumen and operational skills, for which there were no training solutions specific to their needs. 

When it’s not run effectively, the morale among volunteer and career staff drops, resulting in high turnover. This high turnover then requires recruiting and training new staff and volunteers and addressing concerns of existing volunteers/staff. Every decision and action of staff in key positions affects morale. Therefore, it is essential for these firefighter personnel to have the knowledge and skills to do their job efficiently; and in doing so, keep the morale high and turnover low at the fire stations.

OUR SOLUTION

Interactive learning experience based on real-world scenarios

The IAFC’s goal for this project was to improve recruitment and retention of quality people for the fire departments with an engaging learning solution that helps those in charge of administration at volunteer fire departments to better run their organisations. The solution had to be engaging, easily maintained, and scaled to reach across their global network of firefighting leaders.

The briefing mission for the elearning course

To meet these objectives, Kineo and the IAFC designed, developed and deployed The Volunteer Administrative Leadership Series. This engaging and interactive learning experience focuses on practical, applicable knowledge presented in multiple modules via digital storytelling.

The stories presented in the series revolve around a fictious fire station, and how every user decision in the course impacts the station’s overall morale. The courses also include an interactive chart where participants can view their history of performance and return directly to the challenges to improve their morale scores. Key takeaways are presented in virtual index cards online, and for those who attend the instructor-led follow-up session, the cards turn real as participants walk away with a handy deck.

A time pressured quiz prompting the learner to note their plans to fight the fire

The results

Improved camaraderie across the administrative staff and volunteers

The Volunteer Administrative Leadership Series has already showed significant signs of improved recruitment and retention of quality people for their network of fire departments. Business operations have improved and consistency across the network of stations has never been better. The learning solution is having a demonstrable impact with an engaging learning solution that will help those in charge of administration at volunteer fire departments better run their organisations.

“The Volunteer Administrative Leadership Series was built to help address a decline in membership in the volunteer fire service. We decided to tackle that problem with the idea that these departments could improve their ability to recruit and retain if they were stronger “businesses.” Kineo helped us take that vision and turn it into a strong platform of online courses as well as an in-person class. The project turned out to be the largest educational piece the IAFC has offered and we’ve trained hundreds of people on the foundations it delivers.”

Spencer Cheatham, Program Manager