NFPA launches 2020 U.S. Needs Assessment Survey

Nation’s leading fire service organizations are working collaboratively with NFPA to encourage all U.S. fire departments to complete the survey

September 15, 2020 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) today announced the official launch of its 2020 U.S. Needs Assessment survey, the fifth distributed since 2001. The survey works to capture the level of resources and staffing among U.S. fire departments, and to identify where fire departments are meeting the needs of their communities and where there are gaps in resources.

To maximize the survey’s impact, NFPA worked with representatives from the nation’s leading fire service organizations, including the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), to collectively identify what questions need to be asked in the survey, and to ensure that it accurately quantifies the needs of fire departments throughout the United States. Areas of focus in the 2020 survey include PPE, apparatus and equipment, training, health and wellness, and cancer prevention, among other timely topics impacting the fire service.

“The more we know about the needs of U.S. fire departments, the better we can work to address these concerns, with the ultimate goal of helping fire departments get the tools, support and resources they need to more effectively and efficiently serve their communities,” said Ben Evarts, data collection and research manager of NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research Division.

Evarts notes that the United States Fire Administration (USFA) and the U.S. Congress rely on the U.S. Needs Assessment to identify gaps within the nation’s fire service.

“The only way we can get an accurate, realistic snapshot of where fire departments are at is by getting as many of them as possible to complete the survey. By better understanding fire departments’ needs, funding can be appropriately allocated to support them,” said Evarts. “That’s why feedback and participation from every fire chief across the country is critical to the survey’s true success and impact.”

The survey is now accessible online, making it easier for fire departments to fill out and return. (A print version is being mailed out as well.) The survey must be completed by a fire department chief or an assigned designee and returned to NFPA by January 1, 2021. An FAQ is also available to answer commonly asked questions about completing and returning the survey.

Anyone who has questions or concerns can also contact NFPA’s Fire Analysis and Research division:

Toll free: 1-800-343-8890
Fax: 1-617-984-7478

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

Contact: Lorraine CarliPublic Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275