We don’t have to tell you that the fire service and industry has changed dramatically over the years. The types of incidents you respond to are vastly different and more diverse, as well as the technology you use to get your jobs done. Reporting and data have become more in-depth, and compliance standards have gotten stricter. First responders are constantly expected to adapt to new situations and learn new techniques, but sometimes, that’s the best part of the job.
Emergency Reporting surveyed nearly 600 firefighters with an average of 20 years’ experience in the fire service about the state of the fire service in 2020. Check out the full infographic and keep reading to take a deep dive into the fire service, by the numbers.
The Fire Service by the Numbers…
1. Fire departments face many challenges and adversity daily. Almost half of the firefighters surveyed said that volunteer recruitment is the biggest challenge that their department faces. At the same time, a quarter of respondents report that dealing with insufficient budgets is their primary concern.
2. One of the biggest growing concerns for the public is active shooter situations. The growing number of incidents involving an active shooter in the U.S. has warranted an increase in active shooter training for first responders. Over half of survey respondents reported having this type of training recently.
3. Many people outside the fire service don’t realize that most fire departments rely very heavily on grant funding for financial support. Over 60% of firefighters surveyed said that the funding they get from grants is essential to being able to run their agency effectively.
4. One of the greatest growing concerns for firefighters is the risk of contracting cancer. It’s becoming more well known in recent years that the risk of firefighters being diagnosed with cancer is very high due to the work that they do. Over 50% of respondents believe that this problem could benefit from being discussed more in their department, while almost 10% reported that their department has little to no awareness of the topic.
5. Another critical health issue that departments tend to not address as much is mental health. The work that first responders do takes a toll on their emotional and mental well-being. A majority of firefighter surveyed feel that the topic of mental health is not addressed well enough in their departments.
6. It goes without saying that it takes a very special kind of person to be a firefighter. When asked what personality traits they think are necessary for a firefighter to have, respondents most commonly came up with these top 3: integrity, compassion, and dedication.
So how do you and your agency measure up to these? What other trends do you think the fire service is taking? One thing that can’t be argued is the increase in the need for reliable and easy-to-use reporting software. Get your department trending in the right direction with a free trial of Emergency Reporting Records Management Software.