More information

"Fire Departments in Canada" report (PDF, 376 KB)

Related report
"Number of Firefighters in Canada, 2013-2015" report (PDF, 376 KB), February 2016 

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Report: NFPA's "Fire Departments in Canada"
Author:  Michael J. Karter, Jr. and Gary P. Stein
Issued: November 2013

The NFPA has been collecting data on fire departments in Canada for several years. This report includes results on career and volunteer fire firefighters per 1,000 people protected, department type, stations and apparatus rates per 1,000 people, and whether EMS is provided. Most of the results are broken down by size of community protected.

Introduction

Firefighters
Most of the career firefighters in Canada are in departments that protect 50,000 or more people.

Most of the volunteer firefighters in Canada are in departments that protect fewer than 50,000 people.

Canadian median rates for career firefighters per 1,000 people are lower than their U.S. counterparts by community size.

Canadian medial rates for volunteer firefighters per 1,000 people are similar to their U.S. counterparts by community size.

Fire Departments
Department types vary considerably by size of community protected.

Compared to U.S. fire departments, Canadian departments had a higher percentage of all or mostly volunteers for all community sizes. 

Fire Department Apparatus and Stations
The rates are higher for departments protecting small communities (under 2,500) because it takes a minimum number of apparatus and stations to operate a fire department, regardless of the number of people protected.

The rates are higher for departments protecting small communities (under 2,500) because it takes a minimum number of apparatus and stations to operate a fire department, regardless of the number of people protected.

Rates for aerial apparatus and stations are comparable to rates in the U.S.

Career firefighters in U.S. and Canada