Number of fire fighters in US drops by four percent
According to the new US Fire Department Profile report from the US National Fire Protection Association NFPA, there were approximately 1 041 200 career and volunteer fire fighters in the US in 2020. Each year, NFPA provides an overview of fire departments in the United States with analysis including fire fighters, fire departments, apparatus and stations. The results are based on data collected by two NFPA annual surveys, the US fire experience survey and the fire service inventory survey. This total is down four percent from the previous year and is the lowest total since 1991.
A decrease of volunteer fire fighters played a role in this trend.
There were 364 300 career fire fighters in 2020, representing an increase of two percent from the previous year. In addition, there were 676 900 volunteer fire fighters, a decrease of 6 percent from the previous year, and the lowest number of volunteer fire fighters reported over the years.
In 2020 there were 89 600 female fire fighters, 17 200 career and 72 400 volunteer.
There are an estimated 29 452 fire departments in the United States, with the majority (82 percent) of the fire departments being all or mostly volunteer. These are the departments that protected almost one third of the US population. Fire departments categorized as all-career or mostly career represent one-sixth (18 percent) of all the fire departments in the US and protect more than two-thirds of the US population.
The estimates of the number of apparatus and fire stations in the US during 2018 to 2020 indicate that there were 68 800 pumpers; 7 400 aerial apparatuses; 76 300 other suppression vehicles eg, pumpers less than 1 000gpm, brush vehicles, tankers); 48 800 other vehicles eg, rescue, lighting and ambulance vehicles and 54 600 stations.
Nationwide, 37 percent of fire departments provided no emergency medical services, 46 percent provided basic life support (BLS) and 17 percent provided advanced life support (ALS).
Source: National Fire Protection Association (US)