Newly released 2015 Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service report identifies needs and challenges facing today's fire service

Blog Post created by susanmckelvey Employee on Nov 9, 2016

Fire service needs are extensive for fire departments of all sizes and in every area, including staffing, training, facilities, apparatus, personal protective equipment (PPE); and health and wellness. Overall, the smaller the community protected, the greater the need. These findings are the results of our latest "U.S. Needs Assessment Survey of the U.S. Fire Service," which was officially released today.


Key findings from the report include the following statistics:

  • Forty-nine percent of all fire departments have not formally trained all of their personnel involved in structural firefighting, up from 46 percent in 2010. 
  • Sixty-nine percent of departments reported that some of their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipment is at least 10 years old, up from 55 percent in 2010.
  • More than two-thirds (72 percent) of departments reported that some of their PPE clothing is at lest 10 years old, up from 63 percent in 2010.
  • Two out of five fire stations (43 percent) are at least 40 years old, up from 32 percent in 2001, when the initial needs assessment survey was conducted.
  • Forty-three percent of all fire department engines and pumpers are at least 15 years old, down from 51 percent in 2001.
  • Only one quarter (27 percent) of fire departments have a basic firefighter fitness and health program, slightly down from 30 percent in 2010.


In September 2015, the Needs Assessment survey was sent out to all U.S. fire departments.The intent of the survey was to capture the level of fire department resources and staffing, determine where fire departments have the resources to meet the needs of their communities, and identify gaps.


The full "Needs Assessment of the U.S. Fire Service" report is now available online.