Protection to Australian communities from ﬁre and other emergencies is provided mostly by volunteers. However, declining volunteer numbers have forced emergency service agencies to consider factors impacting adversely on volunteer retention. The current study provides an organisational perspective on the difficulties of balancing volunteering and family commitments through semi-structured interviews with managers of Australian volunteer ﬁreﬁghters. A thematic analysis of interviews identified several themes, including: volunteers' difficulty prioritising family needs ahead of brigade responsibilities; leaving household and business responsibilities with family members; a lack of time with family; and interruptions to family routines and activities. Findings are discussed in the context of existing research and a theoretical model of Work-Family Conﬂict, and inform recommendations for agencies to support families and minimise conﬂicts between volunteer ﬁreﬁghting and family life.
|Journal||Australian Journal on Volunteering|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|