"The Professional Volunteer Fire Department" by Tom Merrill highlights the importance of developing and upholding a professional reputation in the firefighting community, regardless of whether one is a paid or volunteer firefighter. Merrill emphasizes that professionalism is not tied to a paycheck but is instead defined by attitude, appearance, competency, commitment, and dedication.
Endorsed by several Chiefs, this book is regarded as a must-read for all volunteer firefighters. It provides valuable insights into recruiting, retaining, and developing professional volunteer firefighters. Merrill's expertise challenges readers to elevate their performance and raise the standards within their departments, ultimately contributing to the overall professionalism of the volunteer fire service
Through this captivating and informative book, Merrill aims to instill a sense of pride and service above self in volunteer firefighters. The book serves as a rallying call for those who are passionate about their service and ignites a fire within them to continue making a difference.
“If you can read this book and not feel a sense of pride, that overwhelming feeling of service above self, the feeling that what you do as a volunteer firefighter matters, then maybe it’s time for a change. But if you are the one who reads it and gets fired up about what we do, then you’re in for a very special ride!”
—Chief Rick Lasky, Fire Chief (ret.), Lewisville Texas
“Tom Merrill is a true gentleman and a professional. His classes and articles detailing professionalism in the volunteer fire service are captivating and informative. This book is no different and should be on the must-read list of all volunteer firefighters, regardless of rank, title, or experience.”
—Brandon S. Fletcher, Fire Chief, Gilt Edge (TN) Fire Department
“Tom Merrill has spent his life working to improve the ‘professional’ image of the volunteer firefighter. This book is a compilation of his experiences and what works and doesn’t work in the recruiting, retaining, and development of the professional volunteer firefighter. His writing challenges you to raise your standard of performance.”
—Chief John M. Buckman III, State Fire Training Director at Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office