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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: February 2020

Key findings

  • NFPA estimates there were an estimated 1,115,000 career and volunteer firefighters in the United States in 2018. Of the total number of firefighters 370,000 (33%) were career firefighters and 745,000 (67%) were volunteer firefighters.
  • In 2018, 93,700 (8%) of the firefighters were female. Of the career firefighters, 15,200 (4%) were female firefighters. There were 78,500 volunteer firefighters who were female, which was 11% of the total number of volunteer firefighters.
  • Fifty percent of firefighters are between 30 and 49 years old.
  • There were 29,705 fire departments in the United States in 2018. Of these, 18% were all career or mostly career departments and protected 68% of the US population.
  • Nationwide 38% of fire departments provided no emergency medical services, 45% provided basic life support (BLS), and 17% provided advanced life support (ALS).


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