NFPA's "U.S. Fire Department Profile
Michael J. Karter, Jr. and Gary P. Stein
This report includes statistics through 2012 on the numbers and characteristics of U.S. fire departments and firefighters. It also includes information on the number of fire stations, pumpers and ladders nationwide, rates of usage of such equipment by community size, and total national direct expenditures on local fire protection.
NFPA estimates that there were approximately 1,129,250 firefighters in the U.S. in 2012. Of the total number of firefighters 345,950 or 31% were career firefighters and 783,300 (69%) were volunteer firefighters. Most of the career firefighters (72%) are in communities that protect 25,000 or more people. Most of the volunteer firefighters (95%) were in departments that protect fewer than 25,000 people. There are an estimated 30,100 fire departments in the U.S. Of these, 2,610 departments are all career, 1,995 mostly career, 5,445 are mostly volunteer and 20,050 are all volunteer. In the U.S., 13,600 or 45% of departments provide EMS service, 4,550 departments or 15% provide EMS service and advance life support, while 11,950 departments or 40% provide no EMS support.