The role of a firefighter is quite expansive. To fulfill their duties, they train in areas such as hazardous materials control, disaster preparedness and public safety, as well as advanced firefighting techniques. Because many of the calls to which firefighters respond require medical assistance, they also receive training in emergency medical services. Most paid firefighters continue their studies to prepare for promotion exams.
This emphasis on training and education makes firefighters ideal candidates for offers of magazine subscriptions, journals and books, seminars, conferences, and trade shows. Peggy Glenn, owner of the Firefighters Bookstore catalog, says her bestsellers are books that help firefighters prepare for promotions.
Reach the Chief Decision-Maker
The level of discretionary income a department has to spend on vehicles and equipment depends on its size, the community it serves and whether it's paid or volunteer.
Paid companies spend the majority of their budget on salaries, says Eisner. Volunteer companies don't have salaries to pay, so they can spend more of their money on equipment. Volunteer companies may be funded by an appropriation from their municipalities or through fund-raising events.
Purchases may be specified or recommended by a committee or purchasing officer, but the fire chief is the primary decision-maker. Accordingly, "Business offers relating to departmental purchases should be skewed to senior-level decision-makers," advises Tom Soukup, vice president, Statlistics, which manages several firefighter lists.
Fire Chief magazine reaches both paid and volunteer departments and offers selects such as job title and area of purchasing power. This enables marketers to reach the decision-makers for various purchases, including clothing, appliances and supplies, HAZMAT equipment, training aids and more.
Consumer- related offers, such as collectibles or affinity credit cards, however, can be targeted to the general membership. Collectibles marketer The Bradford Exchange, for example, has rented names from the subscriber files of Fire Rescue, Fire Chief and Fire Engineering magazines.