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NFPA reports find improvement but continued needs for America's fire departments

Zoom  Zoom Issue Date:2011-08-25   Source:NFPA   Browse:903

NFPA reports find improvement but continued needs for America's fire departments




NFPA has conducted a series of national surveys to identify the needs of the fire service for resources required to safely and effectively carry out their responsibilities. The surveys indicated the resources fire departments had, while NFPA codes and standards and other national guidance documents defined the requirements. The gaps between resources in hand and resources required defined the needs.


These reports look at personnel and their capabilities, including staffing, training, certification, and wellness/fitness; facilities and apparatus; personal protective equipment; fire prevention and code enforcement; the ability to handle unusually challenging incidents; and communications and new technologies.


All three studies began with requests from Congress, and the first two studies were conducted with and sponsored by the U.S. Fire Administration and its parent agencies.



A Third Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service (PDF, 1 MB)

June 2011. 216 pages

Updated study examining the needs of the U.S. fire service in such areas as training, certification, personnel, apparatus, equipment, and fire prevention, with particular attention to homeland security type incidents.


Selected findings from the 2011 Needs Assessment


Nearly half (46%) of all fire departments that are responsible for structural firefighting have not formally trained all their personnel involved in structural firefighting, down from 55% in 2001 and 53% in 2005.


Seven out of ten (70%) fire departments have no program to maintain basic firefighter fitness and health, down from 80% in 2001 and 76% in 2005.


Nearly half (46%) of all fire department engines and pumpers were at least 15 years old, down from 51% in 2001 and 50% in 2005. Half (51%) of all fire departments cannot equip all firefighters on a shift with self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), down from 70% in 2001 and 60% in 2005.


Two out of five (39%) fire departments do not have enough personal alert safety system devices (PASS) to equip all emergency responders on a shift, down from 62% in 2001 and 48% in 2005.

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