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A Look at Fire Stats in the US
A Look at Fire Stats in the US

This article is part one in a four-part series on fire responses and the roles of firefighters in the US
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

In the United States, a fire emergency is reported on average every 23 seconds.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), that statistic encompasses everything from structure, home, outdoor, unclassified, and vehicle fires.

To understand the scope of fire emergencies in the US, it's important to understand the anatomy of a fire department.

Fast Facts About Fire Stations in the US

According to the NFPA, there are 58,750 fire stations in the US, which consist of the following:

  • 29,727 fire departments
  • 1.1 million firefighters
    • 30 percent of firefighters are career firefighters
    • 70 percent of firefighters are volunteer
  • 71,800 pumpers
  • 7,300 aerial apparatus
  • 79,050 suppression vehicles

In addition to fighting fires, many of these fire departments also offer specialized services including vehicle extrication, public education, specialized rescue, fire investigation, advanced life support, hazardous material removal, in-house training, and intervention programs.

The Role of Firefighters in the US

When a fire emergency is reported to 911, career and volunteer firefighters are alerted by dispatch and quickly respond to the incident. While career and volunteer firefighters are equally responsible for responding to fire, medical, traffic, and other emergencies throughout the country, in some cases volunteers adhere to a different set of guidelines or qualifications.

This difference in guidelines could mean these individuals can only respond with senior-level or career firefighters, however, they are instrumental in a fire response.

To find out more about the role of firefighters in the US, subscribe to The Call and follow our series on fire responses and firefighters over the coming weeks.



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