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The reduction in volunteer firefighter numbers combined with the persistent aging trend among firefighters protecting our nation’s smallest communities highlights the importance of re-doubling recruitment and retention efforts. A number of the National Volunteer Fire Council’s (NVFC’s) Legislative Priorities deal specifically with marshaling federal resources to assist local communities’ recruitment and retention efforts, including the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant program, which provides funding to volunteer and combination fire departments to undertake recruitment and retention campaigns.
In addition to working on federal legislation, the NVFC operates several national programs designed to increase the capacity of fire departments, including 1-800-FIRE-LINE, which is a national recruitment campaign that provides a toll-free number that anyone in the nation can call to learn about fire and emergency service volunteer opportunities in their area.
USFA Releases 2010 Fire Estimate Summary Series
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) issued the 2010 Fire Estimate Summary Series which presents basic information on the size and status of the fire problem in the United States as depicted through data collected in USFA’s National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). The data summary series was developed by USFA’s National Fire Data Center and is further evidence of FEMA’s commitment to sharing information with the American public, fire departments and first responders around the country to help them keep their communities safe.
“The fire estimate summaries serve as a great resource tool for members of the fire service and the public to obtain general information regarding fire issues impacting our nation’s communities,” said Glenn Gaines, Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator. “It is important to use this information to further reduce the risk of deaths, injuries and property loss due to fire.”
Individual summaries are issued as part of the series and address the size of a specific fire or fire-related issue as well as highlight important data trends. As part of this series, 17 summaries have been issued presenting basic information on the leading causes of residential building and nonresidential building fires, deaths, injuries and dollar losses for 2010 and highlighting overall trends in these leading causes for the 5-year period from 2006 to 2010. Additional new and updated fire estimate summaries will be periodically released under this series as future year data become available.
The complete Fire Estimate Summary Series is available at www.usfa.fema.gov/statistics/estimates/. For further information regarding other statistical reports or any programs and training available at USFA, visit www.usfa.fema.gov.