1. #1
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    Default Call rates in small cities

    I tried this in another part of the board, but think I may have picked the wrong section, so thought I'd try here ---

    Can anyone point me towards some statistics on average call (fire & EMS) rates in small suburban cities of about 15,000-25,000?

    I'm curious as to what is "normal".

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    We usually run 900-1000 a year

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    700-800 here. City of roughly 18,000.


    EDIT: No EMS included, other than the rare lift assist or forcible entry, like FireMedic049 said.
    Last edited by Paraphoe; 02-26-2010 at 02:59 PM.

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    city of appx 25,000, fire and rescue calls only (no EMS), average between 800 and 850 runs a year.

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    There is no "normal".

    Not all places do EMS, so that affects run volume. Demographics make a huge difference as well. A lower-income city of 15,000 could easily have many more runs than a middle income city of 25,000, or an affluent city of 30,000.

    One example here in Washington -

    The city of Aberdeen is an economically-depressed former timber town. Pop 16,000, they do 5,600 runs per year out of 2 stations.

    The city of Mt. Vernon is in the North Puget Sound region, 60-ish miles north of Seattle, more of a financially stable, middle-to-upper-middle income area. Pop 26,000, 3,900 runs per year out of 3 stations.

    It will take some work, but search for FDs in the population range you're asking about. Their website should have a link to their annual report, or some sort of statistical info. ike I said, there's no such thinga s "normal"
    Last edited by sfd1992; 02-25-2010 at 07:42 PM.

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    Pop of 19,000, we run about 2400. Fire and EMS.

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    There are too many variables that go with this. Just for comparison our district of 3000 in 150 sq. miles averages about 40 calls a year. A smaller town south of us makes more runs due to the interstate running through their district. Location makes a difference, along with economics, popular building styles, etc...Best to research the town you are looking at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfd1992 View Post
    There is no "Normal".

    Not all places do EMS, so that affects run volume. Demographics make a huge difference as well. A lower-income city of 15,000 could easily have many more runs than a middle income city of 25,000, or an affluent city of 30,000.

    It will take some work, but search for FDs in the population range you're asking about. Their website should have a link to their annual report, or some sort of statistical info.

    I like to add to what has been posted here.

    If you wish to use demographics, you have to look at the number of people in specific age groups. If the community has a significant number of retired folks, you will typically have more EMS calls than a younger community.

    I served in a District that was considered a Retirement Community a few years back. The population was around 25,000 permanent citizens with another 15,000 seasonal population. We ran between 1900 and 2200 runs per year with 65% EMS. Clearly this could not be considerd normal.

    Each community must also be measured against its own dynamics, and not entirely based upon the demographics; Heavy Industrial versus bedroom community. This is a Risk/Exposure type analysis.

    What I would suggest is trying to target a city or cities that are very close in nature to your own in terms of population, location, infrastructure. Include highways, businesses, enterprise and cost of living data. This will take some time to compile, but once you have collected a close match, then attempt to collect the specific data that you're needing from the local agencies.
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    City of about 24,000. Annual call volume of around 1,200 or so - no EMS runs other than periodic lift assist type stuff.

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    The points that Paladin and sfd bring up are why I was looking for statistics as compared to anecdotal evidence. But, perhaps I wasn't clear. I guess I'm looking for some sort of existing report on call rates that take those sorts of variables into account. My googlefu wasn't good enough to come up with anything.

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    As many have stated, there is no normal. The most common thing that will affect call volume is demographics of the community. Crime stats, EMS abuse, and fire stats all directly correlate with poverty rates.

    I once saw a statistic that said that in middle class, bedroom type communities you can expect one call per day per 5000 residents.

    Having said this, there are 3 kinds of lies.......lies, damn lies, and statistics.


    Oh.......and yes. Anyone wanting to add that to your signature line, feel free.
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    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Last department I was on was a town of about 18,000 permanent residents with another 6,000 or so seasonal.

    Between the 2 fire departments we ran about 700 fire related calls. On our side, a large chunk of that were alarm trips.

    Both fire departments were all volunteer.

    EMS probably ran about 1500 runs.

    They had a paid day crew and were volunteer nights and weekends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    I once saw a statistic that said that in middle class, bedroom type communities you can expect one call per day per 5000 residents.
    Not bad. We ran 1,348 calls last year in a community of 16,201. That's an average of 3.69 runs per day. Population divided by 5,000 predicts 3.24 per day.

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    My current department runs about 1000 calls a year in a town of ~30k. Ambulance/EMS is a separate agency but we do get called out to assist. My previous department ran BLS ambulances in addition to fire, similar population but ran just under 2500 calls/year.

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