Croton EMS Plans New Campaign To Recruit Members

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Mark Dickey, First Lieutenant with Croton EMS, holds a poster that will be part of the new Croton EMS public relations campaign. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Croton residents may soon see lawn signs and postcards bearing Croton EMS branding. The emergency response agency is seeking to embark on a paper-powered public relations campaign.

"Croton EMS, as everyone knows, has had some challenges recruiting and retaining members," said Mark Dickey, first lieutenant of Croton EMS. Dickey has gotten several price quotes for printing lawn signs, tri-fold brochures, posters, fliers, business cards, palm cards and mailing post cards.

The cash for the recruitment effort comes from a $16,500 stipend allotted 15 months ago, when it became clear the Croton EMS was having difficulty recruiting members.

After discussion with the Village Board of Trustees, the two most viable bids appeared to be from the Croton UPS Store, at $11,161; and Executive Printing, whose owner lives in Croton, at $10,264. With the cost of a graphic designer, the materials are slightly under budget, said Dickey.

"We have to throw the net out; this is a worthwhile investment," said board member Casey Raskob, who said he was ready to approve the measure.

Not all board members were as satisfied with the plan, which is likely to appear on the Jan. 7 meeting agenda.

"I still have a problem with the campaign," said trustee Ann Gallelli. "If this is really a campaign, it needs to be a put-together thing," she said. Gallelli suggested buying advertising on online media, such as The Cortlandt Daily Voice, writing press releases and having a social media presence also ready to go on the day of the first mailing.

Asked about a social-media campaign, Dickey said, "At this point in time, I don't know that very much progress has been made."

Aside from the 5,900 fire protection district residents who would be mailed three, monthly post cards, members of the Croton EMS would distribute the rest of the printed materials themselves.

Dickey suggested that the board would need to continue funding some social activities for the Croton EMS to help retain members that the mailers would hopefully attract. "A couple dinners a year; budgetary approval," said Dickey.

He added: "If you're talking about incentives to join - from a training perspective, they're phenomenal."

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Mac376:

Sounds like a typical burocratic approach to a problem that they have no idea how to solve. Throw money at it and we can say we tried. This is a deeper problem than that. You need to start with the retention part of the problem not the recruitment. What good is it to bring people in if they don't stay. The only people that will benefit from this are the printers.

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