The fire service

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Download NFPA's "The United States Fire Service" (PDF, 344 KB) fact sheet.

  • 1,140,750 firefighters protected the United States in 2013. 354,600 (31%) were career firefighters and 786,150 (69%) were volunteer firefighters.
  • Most career firefighters (71%) are in communities that protect 25,000 or more people.
  • Most volunteer firefighters (95%) are in departments that protect fewer than 25,000 and more than half are located in small, rural departments that protect fewer than 2,500 people. 
  • There were 97 firefighter deaths in 2013. Two high-fatality incidents account for most of the increase in the death toll over previous years-the 19 deaths in the Yarnell Hill Fire and the 9 firefighters (along with and EMT) at the West TX fertilizer plant explosion. Stress, exertion, and other medical-related issues, which usually result in heart attacks or other sudden cardiac events, almost always account for the largest share of deaths in any given year. Of the 32 exertion- or medical0related fatalities in 2013, 29 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths. Rapid fire progress, including explosions, accounted for another 30 deaths.
  • There were 65,880 firefighter injuries in 2013.
  • 29,760 of all firefighter injuries in 2013 occurred during fireground operations. Other firefighter injuries by type of duty include: responding to, or returning from an incident (4,015); training (7,770); non-fire emergency (12,535); and other on-duty activities (11,800).
In This Section
  • Administration Needs assessment; Fire service performance measures; U.S. fire department profile; and more.
  • Fatalities and injuries Firefighter fatalities; firefighter injuries; patterns of fireground injuries; firefighter deaths related to training; and more.
  • Fire department calls Fire alarm activity; unwanted fire alarms; calls by type
  • Older versions of reports Older reports on firefighter fatalities and firefighter injuries.
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