This chapter will discuss various findings on motive and occupation satisfaction in the context of volunteerism in the Nigerian fire service. It will examine the research subject, significance of volunteerism, construct of voluntary firefighters, and theories of motive. The analysis will also include an examination of the benefits provided to voluntary firefighters and critical issues impacting volunteering in Nigeria. These topics will be reviewed using text editions, magazines, journals, internet sources, and other related periodical publications.
THE MEANING AND USE OF VOLUNTEERING
Volunteerism plays a crucial role in marketing systems, thus investigating voluntary activities at an individual level has important micro marketing implications (Laverie & McDonald, 2007, p.xx). According to the United States Department of Labor (2006), during the year ending September 2006, 61.2 million Americans (26.7% of the population) volunteered for an organization at least once. Similarly, i...
n Australia, 5.2 million people (34% of the population) participated in voluntary work in 2006 by contributing 713 million hours to the community (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2007,p.xx). There is no local registration for statistics on these activities in Nigeria; however,the Ministryof Works estimates that there are approximately1.6million volunteers involvedin various sectors each year with about64k expected to participateinthe upcoming2011 elections.
These volunteers now recognize that they have the freedom, skills, and confidence to tackle ongoing social issues in their communities. These issues encompass inadequate healthcare systems, entrenched poverty, environmental threats, and high crime rates, among other societal problems (Bornstein 2004, p.xx). A notable example of this is the significant increase in volunteer numbers at the Olympic Games. In the 1980s, there were practically no volunteers; however, during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, there were 40,917 trained volunteers (Gree
and Chalip 2004). Researchers have determined that these volunteers were essential in making the Sydney Olympic Games happen. Another advantage for societies hosting special events like the Olympics is that these events are now employed in economic and social development strategies. Cities, regions, and countries aspire to utilize these events as a means to attract business investment and promote tourism. Volunteers can be found across private and public sectors including government bodies and non-governmental organizations. They primarily consist of young people, unemployed individuals, senior citizens,' population', elderly population' or 'the older generation', depending on which term you prefer) , and supporters of various causes.
Since 1982, the Voluntaries for Peace (VFP) association has annually registered more than 28,000 volunteers for its international program. The significance of volunteering in Nigeria is emphasized by Lola Akinmade of the Global Vision International (GVI), who highlights the need for volunteers due to Nigeria's large population and limited healthcare facilities. As a result, local hospitals, clinics, and other vital social institutions are overwhelmed. Despite being Africa's most populous country, Volunteer Abroad only lists 10 opportunities in Nigeria compared to over 200 in Kenya. Volunteering is recognized as having positive impacts on both individuals and society.
Wilson and Musick (1999) discovered that unpaid volunteers experience improvements in their mental wellbeing, occupational status, and employment opportunities compared to non-volunteers. According to Brooks (2008, p.183), acts of charity contribute to psychological happiness by giving individuals a sense of control. Furthermore, volunteering serves as a valuable way to mentally "reboot" and redirect energy away from personal problems. These benefits lead to reduced healthcare expenses, increased productivity, and an overall better quality of life for society as
a whole. In Nigeria, the significance of volunteering cannot be underestimated as it plays a crucial role in improving Nigerian society. Analyzing the mentioned statistics provides insight into the necessary advancements required to enhance this system.
While it may not be a lucrative occupation for a nation filled with ambitious entrepreneurs, there are a few individuals who, like in any other country, are willing to engage in activities that benefit both themselves and their society.
THE CONCEPT OF FIRE FIGHTING
The role of a firefighter involves a commitment to performing a job: extinguishing fires and taking care of communities. Jules Naudet (2002), a filmmaker who documented the activities of the fire department in the World Trade Centre, stated, "They're firefighters, they'll put out the fire, that is what they do." On September 11, firefighters fulfilled their duties because it was their job. They identified with their occupation and embraced the role that being a firefighter imposed on them; they were dedicated to that identity, which influenced their behavior.
Commitment is a significant multidimensional concept that connects individuals in various ways to a superior, to a work group, to an organization, and ultimately, to a served community. In the CBS documentary 9/11: The Falling Man, a temporary fire fighter reflects on his small paycheck, stating that if he desired money, he would have become a lawyer but instead he chose something that he could live with for the rest of his life - "I can live with this." Similarly in the same documentary, a fire chief expresses his desire to experience satisfaction when starting each day and "to look in the mirror and know that I am accomplishing something with
According to Mr. Danny Shinto (cited by XXX, 2000, p.xx) of Nigeria Firefighters Oshogbo Branch, in a speech he delivered, the motivation for people to become voluntary firefighters is not driven by money or pay, but rather by non-monetary rewards. Dennis Smith (2002) shares a story about a retired fire marshal who expressed distress over the death of a fellow firefighter who was driving when a rope broke. Another firefighter responded by reminding him that such incidents are part of the job. Firefighters embrace an identity that requires them to display heroic behavior. This identity theory suggests that they act selflessly because it is what is expected of them.
Firefighters, police officers, teachers, military personnel, flight attendants, and doctors are professionals in both public and private sectors. They all have the crucial responsibility of maintaining internal harmony and meeting the expectations of their roles. The well-being of others is a top priority for these individuals, as they adhere to higher standards and prioritize safety. Their dedication to serving the community is evident through their commitment to their occupations. According to Sargent (1992, p.xx), volunteer firefighters' satisfaction and dedication are primarily influenced by selflessness.
VOLUNTEERING IN THE NIGERIAN FIRE SERVICE
The reasons individuals choose to become voluntary firefighters in Nigeria are varied and include selflessness, skills development, rewards, work environment, leadership opportunities, social relationships, material considerations, and recognition. These factors also play a role in the decision of current firefighters to continue their involvement in the profession. In order to retain voluntary firefighters effectively, it is important to prioritize quality management and skill enhancement while providing them with a positive work environment that fosters a sense of selflessness.
on the author's research findings, young people are frequently motivated to join the voluntary service by their peers and as a way of demonstrating their commitment to societal progress.
The voluntary fire service is seen as an integral part of society and a community service, with individuals being motivated by their peers and the desire for societal relevance. When they witness their colleagues donning the uniform of the voluntary fire service and receiving acknowledgment from fellow community members for their efforts in extinguishing a nearby fire disaster, it doesn't take long before other youth in the community decide to join the voluntary firefighting organization. In Nigeria, voluntary firefighting is regarded as both a service to the community and the nation, attracting numerous individuals who aspire to improve their standing within the community. By actively engaging in this service, they demonstrate their contribution to society's well-being.
This recognition from society serves as a motivation for others to join the voluntary fire service in Nigeria. The dedication of these firefighters is viewed as an inspiration for individuals to become members of voluntary fire organizations. The tasks assigned to these volunteers are designed to be less monotonous or repetitive. They are organized in a manner that enables you to confront challenges and decide the most effective approach, thereby fostering your ingenuity and personal determination while carrying out your responsibilities.
The challenges presented in these situations not only encourage employees to be self-motivated, take initiative, and innovate but also provide supervisors with opportunities to support their growth, advancement, and training when they encounter difficulties. In a personal interview with the division head of the Chico Fire Department in Nigeria, it was revealed
that many part-time, on-call firefighters are motivated by a desire for camaraderie and the satisfaction of making a meaningful contribution to their community through civic responsibility and pride. They aspire to give back to the community they belong to. Additionally, some individuals choose firefighting as a career due to its unique challenges and the variety it offers compared to their regular jobs. Along the E seashore, there is significant social pressure pushing individuals to join the voluntary fire department. Similarly, in rural areas, there is a stronger sense of community.
Volunteer firefighting is crucial for new firefighters in the Western United States as it offers valuable job experience and serves as a stepping stone in their career. Research conducted by Eases (2003) supports this idea, revealing that volunteer firefighters in combined fire departments on the West Coast often encounter discrimination when seeking employment opportunities. According to Eases, volunteering aids firefighters in fulfilling their self-esteem and self-actualization needs, as described by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, resulting in personal fulfillment. However, Olu Imago from the Ajaokuta fire division highlights how societal changes have adversely affected volunteer activities.
The author highlights that the increased dependence on technology and the internet in society has led to a decrease in focus on the social aspects of volunteering, which negatively affects recruitment and retention for volunteer-dependent organizations. Volunteer fire departments not only serve the community and assist those in need but also foster social relationships.
In Nigeria, efforts are being made to effectively motivate and support volunteers, despite potential obstacles. The utilization of motivation theories to benefit volunteers will ensure continuous progress in Nigerian volunteering, particularly within fire fighting departments.
BENEFITS PROVIDED TO VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS
volunteer firefighters are provided with insurance coverage to safely carry out their responsibilities.
Once there is any danger, the employees can be confident that the province will compensate them. If there is a fatality, compensation is provided to the members of their household. The insurance strategy promotes effective participation of voluntary fire combatants. According to the USA National Voluntary Fire Council (1998), among the 50 states, voluntary firemen receive various benefits, which can be grouped into five categories:
- Workers' compensation,
- Death benefits,
- Retirement pension,
- Property or income tax discounts, and
Health care benefits.
In total, forty-four states including Pennsylvania provide workers' compensation benefits for voluntary firemen injured or killed while on duty. Additionally, twenty-seven states offer death benefits and twenty states provide retirement pensions. Seven states offer income tax or property tax discounts. Only Louisiana offers health care benefits for volunteers.
The Head of the Osun-State Firefighters has confirmed that similar installations exist in various parts of Nigeria, just like those seen in the United States. However, these installations in Nigeria are dependent on the authorities in individual states of the federation. According to him, these rewards serve as recognition for the accomplishments and contributions of volunteer firefighters. He believes that if rewards are perceived as deserving and attainable, and people know how they can earn them, they can serve as incentives. Officials have expressed the belief that nonfinancial incentives are more effective in
motivating and retaining volunteer firefighters than monetary benefits.
A common sentiment was that fiscal benefits do not motivate volunteers; however, constant fire service-related expenses made it difficult for volunteers, especially those with lower incomes, to continue their volunteer service. In response to an incident that occurred in the area involving 13 members of the voluntary firefighters in 2006, the Head of Association of voluntary firefighter Airport Road subdivision Lagos remarks; "We want to thank the government for their support and encouragement towards our work. To show us love by giving a fitting burial and state involvement in the burial arrangement of the victims of the fire catastrophe was highly encouraging. The victims were treated as deserving sons and daughters of the country, who have put up a brave fight in the defense of their fellow beings and their homeland as this will encourage others to join the voluntary fire service so that the state can give them such burial in case they die in the discharge of their responsibilities". The compensation paid by the insurance organization to the families of the victims of the fire catastrophe is expected to encourage other members of society to enroll in the voluntary fire service; the government also contributed financially to the families of the bereaved.
The deaths of these individuals posed challenges in recruiting new potential volunteers. However, the support from authorities and the knowledge that volunteers were covered by insurance inspired workers to request more volunteers. This support was seen as a sign of dedication to the religion and served as motivation. Various writers have their own theories on how motivation can be defined and used to influence the
decisions of volunteers. This is discussed in the following section.
To effectively attract and keep volunteers, it is crucial to identify key motivations of individual volunteers and their impact on pro-social attitudes towards helping behavior (Bussell and Forbes 2002). This literature review aims to discuss the complexities surrounding "Motivation in Volunteers" faced by NGOs and humanitarian aid agencies today. This chapter examines various theories on motives developed over the years.
Studies relating to this country have been conducted since the early years up to the present day. In today's troubled world economy, Volunteerism appears to be more relevant than typical employment methods used in the past and present. Exploring motivational factors in both group and individual settings in the public sector is crucial for improving performance within an organization. The reason motivation should be studied in terms of generic organizational behavior, as well as public service and voluntary work, is that there are certain aspects of motivational theories that apply regardless of the sector or industry. Understanding motivation broadly, including in public service and voluntary work, through literature review will greatly impact the performance levels of public sector volunteers in a positive way.
In the last century, there has been extensive research and discussion on employee motivation and how to improve it to achieve organizational goals. This began with the Hawthorne Studies of the 1920s, which initially sought to examine the effects of light on employee productivity but ultimately emphasized the importance of teamwork, supportive supervisors, and recognition in driving efficiency. This sparked a long exploration of human motivation, leading to significant theories such as Maslow's Hierarchy Theory. Maslow identified various categories of motivation, including physiological, safety,
social, ego, and self-actualization needs. He argued that lower-level needs must be met before employees can be motivated by higher-level needs. Herzberg then categorized motivation into two factors: incentives and hygiene factors, further contributing to the understanding of employee motivation.
Intrinsic factors, such as accomplishment and acknowledgment, create job satisfaction, while extrinsic factors, such as wage and job security, create job dissatisfaction. However, research on motivation in volunteers did not start until the 1970s. Although it shares similarities with Herzberg's motivational hygiene theory, there are unique factors in volunteer motivation such as reciprocality, self-esteem, personal growth, acknowledgment, and societal understanding. Additionally, a study by Wiehe et al (1977, pg 73-79) found that out of 490 individuals who sought to be volunteers and filled out questionnaires at a voluntary enlistment and referral center, 249 questionnaires were returned. The participants were asked to identify their motives for wanting to be volunteers. The results showed four categories of motives in order of importance: personal satisfaction, self-improvement, selflessness, and external demands.
Deductions for the assignment and enlisting of volunteers are acknowledged. Gidron ( 1978:18-32 ) conducted an extensive study on the understanding of volunteering motivation. To do this, he relied on the studies and theories of Herzberg's two-factor theory. This theory, as mentioned earlier, examined both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations of individuals in the workplace. Gidron was among the first researchers to suggest that extrinsic factors could also be present in the overall motivation to volunteer.
The author posited that volunteers were driven by either intrinsic motivations, which centered around personal fulfillment and building a positive relationship with society, or extrinsic motivations that indirectly served their own
interests. One possible extrinsic motivation could be the desire to gain work experience that could be useful in the future. To investigate this, a survey was conducted involving 317 volunteers from four mental and wellness institutions. The aim of the survey was to identify any correlation between different motivational factors and the age of the volunteers.
According to Terpstra (1979), voluntary workers who were adults were primarily motivated by intrinsic factors, while younger volunteers were influenced by work experience and indirect extrinsic factors. Terpstra's own motivational model was based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs (1954), which outlined five levels of motivation: physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization. According to this model, the most basic needs must be met before higher-level needs can be fulfilled. Terpstra examined Maslow's theory in the context of the industrial age.
According to Maslow, the physiological demand is assumed to be the most critical. Only after this demand is achieved, do other factors come into play. In our research on voluntary fire combatants, the need for safety, which is lower in the hierarchy of needs, is significant. The individuals' mind and senses are more motivated to perform better in an environment with adequate safety measures. Consequently, our primary research on voluntary fire combatants and their motivations will also explore the aspect of safety in their work environment and job design.
More recently, Brewer et al. (2000) expanded on the evidence from Perry's list of 40 articles and confirmed their motivational properties. They identified four categories of motivation in the public services, two of which are particularly relevant to our survey - do-gooders and communitarians. These categories, in many respects, continue to follow
the same principle that previous authors have outlined. Furthermore, they suggest that motivation has been a crucial aspect of recent thinking, especially in relation to staff and volunteer recruitment.
The question that often arises regarding the Public service motive is whether it can truly be used to positively influence the motivation level of employees in the public service. Factors such as recruitment, selection, screening, retention, job performance, and satisfaction are important to comprehend in a public service context according to the scope of this research paper. In a study conducted by Paul (2002) on employees in non-profit organizations, over 60% stated that they worked in the organization with the motivation to make a difference in the community. The fewer economic incentives there are for working in an organization, the more likely intrinsic factors become the motivating force for workers. Paul's research determined that workers in such environments prioritize making a difference and having a shared vision of the workplace (Paul, 2002). In comparison to those in the private sector, these employees were more responsive to factors such as aiding the public, making a difference in the community, and having a meaningful job.
According to Brewer et al. (2000), individuals working as volunteers are aware of the importance of maintaining the mission of public service. This is also true for volunteer firefighters, as their commitment to the community is crucial. Therefore, it is essential to respect the mission statement of volunteer firefighters in order to keep them motivated in their work, as stated in the research.
One of the most important research methods and studies was conducted by McEwin and Jacobsen-D`Arcy in 2002. The research method and approach will
also assist in the research involving the evaluation of motivation among fire combatants as volunteers. The study by McEwin and Jacobsen involved approximately 280 volunteers from various organizations. The research consisted of three distinct phases. The initial phase centered around 40 volunteers from two organizations.
The participants were given checklists, asked open-ended inquiries, and given the autonomy to explain why they volunteered. Based on the participants and a literature review, a final questionnaire with 15 categories was developed and trained. In the next phase, this survey was distributed to over 200 volunteers, resulting in the development of a 40-statement voluntary motivation inventory. The research used an 8-point Likert scale for the motivation factors. The eight motivational factors included in this research work are values, career, personal growth, recognition, hedonic, social, reactive, and reciprocity. Let's examine each of these factors to better understand the inventory.
McEwin and Jacobson ( 2002 ) 8 Motivational Factors
Volunteering may be influenced by a person's strong personal or household values. Volunteering can be considered a part of a person's set of values.
Some individuals participate in voluntary services to gain experience and knowledge in their field. These volunteering experiences can ultimately benefit their professional career or help them find employment.
Volunteering often fulfills a person's need for personal growth.
The individual may be motivated by the ultimate acknowledgement they receive for their volunteering services. This satisfaction comes from being acknowledged for the contributions made to society.
This is associated with the joy and pleasure that comes from helping the community.
This is a
way to create pleasant feelings and personal relationships within the volunteering community, as individuals interact with each other.
The person may participate in volunteer services as a reaction to a past incident. It can be seen as a way to address personal issues from the past.
The person views volunteering as an equal exchange and considers it an act of greater good.
In summary, according to Dr. Judy Esmond et al.'s research project (2004), organizations can attract potential volunteers by aligning recruitment messages with their motivational needs. By understanding the motivations of new volunteers, organizations can effectively place them in activities that fulfill their needs. This understanding can help maintain volunteer satisfaction by ensuring these motives are met.
CRITICAL ISSUES AFFECTING VOLUNTEERING
Willing (1994) stated that volunteerism has been declining for the past two decades, which has had a negative impact on the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.
The fact that Nigeria is still using such jobs further highlights the decline that the state hopes to eliminate. As Arinze (2007) remarks, "Our fire fighting service is now inactive. Let's revive the fire brigade so that lives and properties will not be lost unnecessarily. It is time to investigate whether some people are collecting the allocation for equipment meant for the fire fighting service or if there was no allocation for it at all. The continued neglect of our fire service institutions is a continued neglect of the people."
This paragraph highlights the corrupt practices within the operations services in Nigeria, including the fire service and other departments within the Ministry of Works. The misappropriation of funds and fraudulent activities have resulted in insufficient funding for
various government sectors, rendering them ineffective. This has also impacted the fire service in Nigeria, making it difficult to attract volunteers. As a result, there are inadequate facilities, lack of support for staff and volunteers, and various other issues.
The lack of appropriate preparation and planning, not only by the volunteers, but also by the fire service department as a whole, was identified as another critical issue. The author also points out that certain types of fires have not been adequately researched, resulting in a lack of knowledge and information about the equipment needed to fight these fires. In summary, due to these factors, numerous houses were destroyed by fire without any firefighters present. Many lives were lost and properties were destroyed. If we had effective firefighting tools and well-trained firefighters in place, that fire could have been controlled.
The purpose of this piece is to draw attention to the troubling state of the fire combat system. We cannot afford to wait for more lives and properties to be lost before taking action. Nigerians have always been known for their proactive approach, but now our fire brigade is understaffed and lacks sufficient equipment to effectively fight fires.
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