Publication Details

Francis, J. E. & Jones, M. (2012). Emergency service volunteers: a comparison of age, motives and values. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 27 (4), 23-28.


Understanding why volunteers join an emergency service and why they stay is critical to developing more effective recruitment and retention strategies. Subsequently, this study examines the roles of age, motivations and values in satisfaction among New Generation (aged below 35 years) and Traditional Generation (aged 35 years and above) volunteers. The research conducted an online survey of 252 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers. The results indicate a mix of similarities and differences across the generations. First and foremost though, the primary reasons for joining and staying with the service are the same for both age groups - and those reasons revolve around serving the community. Younger volunteers do have an extended range of reasons for joining and staying but the areas of difference point to stage-in-life considerations as opposed to generational changes. The discussion identifies and examines the key implications for emergency service managers.