We are pleased to announce on behalf of Interim Chief Brazle that EMS has initiated an online application process for our volunteers with an emphasis on welcoming the potential member with an all-around improved customer service experience. You have asked and it has finally been created. As you are aware, this new approach represents a dramatic shift from an administrative process that has remained essentially unchanged for over 25 years.
Potential applicants now go straight to our website (www.vbems.com/join) for detailed information about requirements, expectations and frequently asked questions. They can submit an application by simply clicking a “Join Now” button. I ask that you direct potential new members to this new link and create a direct link from your webpage with a similar “Join Now” button. The Rescue Foundation and the City’s Office of Volunteer Resources are currently in the process of creating these direct links on their pages.
What this means is that prospective members can now apply around the clock and receive feedback immediately from the Department. Furthermore, within two working days prospective will receive a phone call to schedule their “signing session” where they sign their paperwork, have any remaining question answered by our membership staff and be offered an observer shift (more to follow on this exciting effort to follow) rather than sometimes waiting weeks to attend a group orientation session. Yes, orientation sessions are now a thing of the past and have been replaced with small group “briefing sessions” held several times a week but are NOT mandatory. Information is available now online, over the phone or face to face for prospective members. Staff has really done a phenomenal job in creating and implementing this tool!
The entire process is interactive, with updates automatically transmitted to the applicant as they pass the various screening steps. We anticipate this will improve initial retention by connecting with prospective members more often. Squad and team membership coordinators will also be added to this process as prospective members are approved. We also expect this process to shorten the new member approval time significantly and reduce the opportunity for a prospective member to “fall through the cracks.”. Additionally, prospective members can call during regular business hours to check on the status of their application. A future enhancement will allow them to check the status online.
Please let us know if you have any questions on this exciting new initiative or would like to have a demonstration (but please, since this is live and tied to our records management database, do not create a fake application to experience the initiative yourself).
Thank you for all you do! We hope this makes it a little easier for you.