I didn't see a thread on this, but NFPA released their 2011 Needs Assessment report and it can be downloaded here: http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files//20...Assessment.pdf

Here is the summary:

"Fire service needs are extensive across the board, and in nearly every area of need, the
smaller the community protected, the greater the need. Needs have declined to a
considerable degree in a number of areas, particularly personal protective and firefighting
equipment, two types of resource that received the largest shares of funding from the
Assistance to Firefighters grants (AFG). Declines in needs have been more modest in
some other important areas, such as training, which have received much smaller shares of
AFG grant funds. In all areas emphasized by the AFG and SAFER grants, there is ample
evidence of impact from the grants but also considerable residual need still to be
addressed, even for needs that have seen considerable need reduction in the past decade.
There has been little change in the ability of departments, using only local resources, to
handle certain types of unusually challenging incidents, including two types of homeland
security scenarios (structural collapse and chem/bio agent attack) and two types of large scale emergency responses (a wildland/urban interface fire and a developing major
flood). However, the surveys have indicated improvement in the development of written
agreements to help in the use of outside resources. This may provide the strongest base
on which to build, namely, the creation of regional and national agreements to allow costs
of shared resources to be shared across a much wider area while also providing a protocol
for any community to respond to an unusually challenging incident that is very unlikely
within the community but not so unlikely within the entire region."