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U.S. fire department profile

Report: NFPA's "U.S. Fire Department Profile"
Author: Ben Evarts and Gary P. Stein
Issued: March 2019

Key findings

  • NFPA estimates there were approximately 1,056,200 local firefighters in the US in 2017. Of the total number of firefighters 373,600 (35%) were career firefighters and 682,600 (65%) were volunteer firefighters.
  • Most of the career firefighters (72%) worked in communities that protected 25,000 or more people. Most of the volunteer firefighters (95%) were in departments that protected fewer than 25,000 people.
  • In 2017, 77,900, or 7%, of the firefighters were female. Of the career firefighters 13,400 (4%) were female firefighters. There were 64,500 volunteer firefighters who were female, 9% of the total number of volunteer firefighters.
  • There are an estimated 29,819 fire departments in the U.S. Of these, 2,785 (9%) departments were all career, 2,316 (8%) were mostly career, 5,405 (18%) were mostly volunteer and 19, 313 (65%) were all volunteer.
  • Nationwide 39% of fire departments provided no emergency medical services, 46% provided basic life support (BLS) and 16% provided advanced life support (ALS).
Related reports

2017 Fire Department Profile infographic
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