America’s firefighters are the first line of defense against natural disasters, terrorist attacks and of course, fire emergencies. Over the years, the fire service industry has changed dramatically as the rate of structural fires has decreased and new threats have arisen. Here are a few key facts about the fire service industry that you probably didn’t know.
Firefighters responded to 1.3 million fires in 2017
Firefighters are doing a lot less fire fighting than they used to. In 1977, when the National Fire Protection Association began tracking the number of fires in the United States, there were 3.3 million fire emergencies in the United States. 40 years later, that number has dropped all the way down to 1.3 million fires. Although the number of fires has de
They take millions of calls for service every year
In 2017, America’s fire departments received 34.7 million calls for service, most of which were not actually fire emergencies. So what else to firefighters respond to when they receive a call for service? Most of the time, firefighters respond to medical emergencies. In 2016, firefighters responded to over 22 million medical calls for service compared to 1.3 million fire emergencies. In fact, most firefighters are required to have basic emergency medical training.
Most firefighters are volunteers
In 2017, there were an estimated 1,056,200 firefighters in the United States, with the majority serving on a volunteer basis. According to a joint study conducted by the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association and the Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association, 65% of America’s firefighters are volunteers.
Dozens of firefighters make the ultimate sacrifice every year
The fire service industry remains one of the most dangerous careers one can pursue. In 2017, 60 firefighters were killed in the line of duty. Of those 60 firefighters who lost their lives, 17 were killed a direct result of responding to a fire emergency. While that number is high, the number of firefighters who died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest is concerning. In 2017, nearly 50% of firefighters who died in the line of duty died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.
Firefighters are our local heroes
At the end of the day, courage is at the heart of what it takes to be a firefighter. Firefighters put aside concerns for their safety to protect their communities and citizens in need. Whether it is responding to a fire emergency, natural disaster, or a terrorist attack, America’ firefighters are among the bravest and most selfless public servants in our country.