Essays on Firefighters in the United State Research Proposal

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper "Firefighters in the United State" is a great example f a research proposal on management. This study was set out to study the experiences of volunteer firefighters in the United State. The results of this study reveal that firefighters majority belong to white males and they come from a broad range of occupational backgrounds. In addition, according to the majority of the results believe that this is their main volunteer role and that they are tightly committed to it. Furthermore, the author relates the characteristics of fire departments to volunteers and draws implications for the further elaboration of this voluntary role. Experience of Working in Fire ServiceIntroductionVolunteer firefighters provide fire protection to three-fourths of the geographical area of the United States.

There are estimated to be a million of these individuals and about 25,000 volunteer fire departments in this giant sector of the U. S. fire service (National Fire Protection Association, 1986; Welter, 1986). These organizations date to the 1700s and count George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Aaron Burr, and Benedict Arnold among their founding members (Smith, 1978).

This old form of public service embodies the American values of democracy, patriotism, and grassroots organizational autonomy ( Jacobs, 1976, Perkins, 1987). Like most voluntary community organizations, volunteer fire departments emerge at the grassroots level. Communities aware of the need for fire service respond by creating their own firefighting unit with recruits from the local area. Members can be committed to altruistic service through a highly visible, action-oriented team. For decades, these organizations have thrived on local community culture and support.

However, forces now acting against this voluntary action have made it questionable whether the volunteer fire service can survive. The increasing urbanization and suburbanization that characterize modern society result in more calls for departments, while the demand for service has increased. In many areas, volunteer emergency medical squads now depend on firefighters to make the first response to medical calls. The percentage of farmers and shift workers is shrinking, which lessens the human resources available during daytime hours. Increased mobility among families takes potential recruits out of local communities.


Becker, Howard S. (1960). Notes of the Concept of Commitment. American Journal of Sociology, 66, 2340.

Clark, P. B., and James Q. Wilson. (1961). Incentive Systems: A Theory of Organisations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 6, 129166.

Hougland, James G., Jr., and James A. Christenson. (1982). Voluntary Organizations and Dominant American Values. Journal of Voluntary Action Research, 11, 726.

Jacobs, A. H. (1976). Volunteer Firemen: Altruism in Action. In W. Avens and S. Montague (eds.), The American Dimension. Port Washington, NY: Alfred Publishing Co.

Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. (1972). Community and Commitment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Karter, Michael J., Jr. (1985). Taking the Measure of the Fire Service. Fire Command, 52, 17.

Lozier, John. (1976). Volunteer Fire Departments and Community Mobilization. Human Organisation, 35, 345354.

National Fire Protection Association. (1986). Fire Control Digest, 13, 2. Perkins, Kenneth B. (1987a). Commitment and Community Among Volunteer Firefighters. Sociological Inquiry, 88(1), 120125.

Perkins, Kenneth B. (1987b). Volunteer Fire Departments: Community Integration, Autonomy, and Survival. Human Organisation, 46(4), 342348.

Smith, David H. (1981). Altruism, Volunteers, and Volunteerism. Journal of Voluntary Action Research, 10, 2136.

Smith, Dennis. (1978). Dennis Smith’s History of Fire Fighting in America. New York: Dial Press.

Touraine, Alain. (1974). Leisure Activities and Social Participation. In Michael Marrus (ed.), The Emergence of Leisure. New York: Harper & Row.

Welter, Gus. (Secretary, National Volunteer Fire Council, Bloomington, Minnesota)(1986). Personal interview.Williams, J. Allen, and Suzanne T. Ortega. (1986). The Multidimensionality of Joining. Journal of Voluntary Action Research, 15, 3544.

Woolley, J. W. (1985). Why Do Volunteers Join the Fire Service? Fire Engineers Journal, 45(137), 1517.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us