We wanted to get some insight into how firefighters were feeling in 2022. So, we decided to run a survey!
2022 Firefighter Issues and Concerns: Questions & Results
The survey, “2022 Firefighter Issues and Concerns” attracted over 500 respondents through our Facebook advertising campaign. Respondents were first asked whether they were firefighters. Then two simple questions followed:
- As a firefighter, what is your number one concern?
- Over the next 5 years, my career plan is to..
The multiple-choice response options to question one were as follows:
- Illness, Injury, Death
- Pay & Compensation
- Violence & Crime towards First Responders
- Quality of Training & Equipment
And to question two:
- Stay at my current position
- Relocate to a better department/union
- Leave the fire service industry
- Retire from the service
- Start a different career
For question one, the top concern at 34.3% was “Illness, Injury, Death,” followed by “Quality of Training and Equipment” as the second highest concern with 27.8% of the vote. In third was “Pay & Compensation at 19.2%, and finally, “Violence & Crime…” and “Other” in third and fourth with 9.9% and 8.8% of the vote respectively.
2022 Firefighter Issues and Concerns: Comments & Feedback
We rounded out the survey with an open ended question which allowed respondents to fill in their own concerns about the current state of firefighting in America. Here are some of the responses:
- “Attrition and replacement of those who leave the service. Our department is all volunteer.”
- “It seems over the past few years the amount of people volunteering has significantly dropped off. We are responding with short crews and older crews.”
- “Being able to retire before I die. After 33 years can’t afford health insurance on my retirement check.”
- “What toxics has entered my body and harm later in life from being exposed many years.”
- “You put in 20 plus years and when you go to retire you have to find a job with insurance until you’re 65.”
While there were many other responses, it is worth noting that most of them touched these same themes; staffing, funding, health risks, and poor benefits were all consistently cited by respondents in this part of the survey.
Overall, we are encouraged that we were able to reach so many firefighters with the opportunity to express their current concerns and future plans. For us, the results were enlightening and will help us better serve our mission.