Top 10 firefighter statistics

FireRescue1 Staff Firefighting 101
by FireRescue1 Staff

Updated Oct. 21, 2016.

If you’re interested in starting a career in firefighting, or if you are already employed in that field, you will be interested in reviewing the top 10 firefighter statistics. Although firefighting can be dangerous, it’s one of the most rewarding careers you can choose. By becoming either a career or a volunteer firefighter, you’re making a valuable contribution to your community and to society at large.

Here are the top ten firefighter statistics as compiled by the National Fire Protection Association.

1. Number of firefighters
The estimated number of firefighters working in the U.S. is 1,134,400. Of that number, 346,150 are career firefighters and 788,250 are volunteers.

2. Firefighter ages
Firefighter statistics categorized by age group: 16-19 (3%), 20-29 (21%), 30-39 (28%), 40-49 (26%), 50-59 (16%), 60 and over (6%).

3. Firefighter salary
Firefighter statistics for average firefighter salary as of 2015: $49,330 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

4. Total responses
The total number of firefighter responses was 33,602,500, a slight decrease from 2014.

5. Medical responses
Medical assistance was the number one reason for firefighter response at 21,500,000. That figure reflects an increase of 1.3 million over 2014.

6. False alarms
The second highest reason for firefighter response was false alarms at 2,533,500. That figure has steadily increased since 2011.

7. Number of fires
The total number of firefighter responses due to fire was 1,345,500; that's 47,500 more fires than in 2014.

8. Where career firefighters work
Seventy percent of career firefighters are working in communities with a population of 25,000 or more. This firefighter statistic reflects the fact that the population density is relational to the number of firefighters needed to protect the community.

9. Where volunteer firefighters work
Ninety-five percent of volunteer firefighters are in working at fire departments that protect a population of less than 25,000. More than 50% of volunteers are located in small, rural departments that protect a population of less than 2,500.

10. Fire's toll
There were 1,345,500 building structure fires in 2015. Of those fires, an estimated property loss of $14.3 billion was reported. The total number of civilian deaths in structure fires for 2015 was 3,280. The number of civilian injuries reported was 15,700.

Bonus firefighter statistic: There are 29,980 fire departments in the U.S.

These firefighter statistics give you an idea of the types of emergencies firefighters are most often called to respond to, as well as the numbers, age ranges and salaries of firefighters in the United States.

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