The new issue of NFPA Journal is now online, and my cover story, "Shrinking Resources, Growing Concern," examines America's rural fire problem.
On average, there are 3 1/2 times as many fires—and fire deaths—in communities of fewer than 2,500 people than in communities of at least 1 million. Figuring out how to solve that problem won't be easy. In doing my reporting for this article, I learned just how numerous and complicated the challenges facing the rural fire service are—from finding and holding on to volunteer firefighters to responding to massive wildfires.
But NFPA hopes it can help. In May, we held the first Rural Fire and Life Safety Symposium in the United States here in Quincy; some of you were there. Moving forward, the hope is to attract more rural fire service representation in our codes and standards process, and to use technology such as NFPA Xchange to spark conversations between rural fire service members and NFPA employees.
Join the conversation by responding to the poll question below: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing rural fire departments in the U.S.?