Thread: Statistics

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    Default Statistics

    Hey, I am researching the number of annual fires fought by career depts vs volunteer depts. Tried googling it but couldn't find anything. Anyone know where to get this info?

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    Try looking at the NFPA site.

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    Yeah, I've looked there but can't find it.

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    Are you looking for actual working fires, or runs, you can try Firehouse for the annual run surveys, they list statictics for both career and volunteer departments. You could try the National Fire Academy web. STAY SAFE

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    I have to ask......why?
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bones42
    I have to ask......why?
    Had a conversation with this A#%HOLE who thought that firefighters should only get paid when we are at a call and that we shouldn't get paid to sleep at the firehall. He had the nerve to say this when he know's I live and breath the fire dept. We've all met dicks like this. Anyways, I tried to educate this c%cksu$#er without blowing a gasket.
    I know a greater portion of LODD each year are volunteers. There is also a much higher turnover in volunteer depts compared to career. Anyways, just trying to determine if there is a greater percentage of LODD with volunteers per fire incident due to lack of experience/training/etc. This isn't an attack on volunteers, I know some have a lot of experience and training. But as a whole a career firefighter is more likely to stay on 30 years and benefit from continued education, etc. Yeah, I just opened up a huge can of worms.
    Anyways, thats why I am researching this.

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    Ok. My gut feeling is that the percentage of LODD for paid FF's is going to be less than vol FF's. I base this on my assumption that paid FF's are responding to more calls than vols as that tends to be one reason to have paid FF's in place of vol's.....high call volume. Again, that's just my gut feeling and I may be wrong.

    My "justification" for paying FF's is not only for when they are on a call, but that they are "available" to answer a call. Good luck.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FireThug
    Had a conversation with this A#%HOLE who thought that firefighters should only get paid when we are at a call and that we shouldn't get paid to sleep at the firehall. He had the nerve to say this when he know's I live and breath the fire dept. We've all met dicks like this. Anyways, I tried to educate this c%cksu$#er without blowing a gasket.
    I know a greater portion of LODD each year are volunteers. There is also a much higher turnover in volunteer depts compared to career. Anyways, just trying to determine if there is a greater percentage of LODD with volunteers per fire incident due to lack of experience/training/etc. This isn't an attack on volunteers, I know some have a lot of experience and training. But as a whole a career firefighter is more likely to stay on 30 years and benefit from continued education, etc. Yeah, I just opened up a huge can of worms.
    Anyways, thats why I am researching this.
    Why are you even wasting time and oxygen thinking about what this fracking mutt thinks?

    Trust me, if his house is on fire, or one of his loved ones is in cardiac arrest or entangled in the wreckage of a car crash, he would sign Fort Knox and the US Treasury over to you in a seceond to mitigate his emergency and make it go away if he could!

    PS: my father in law is still ****ed off at the fact the my FD broke the bathroom door in when my sister in law, who was 2 years old at the time got locked in. That was 40 years ago... and there is just 1 member who was a rookie at the time still on the job... everyone else is retired or dead. I keep telling him it was 40 years ago.. get over it!
    Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 07-06-2006 at 04:33 PM.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo
    Why are you even wasting time and oxygen thinking about what this fracking mutt thinks?

    Trust me, if his house is on fire, or one of his loved ones is in cardiac arrest or entangled in the wreckage of a car crash, he would sign Fort Knox and the US Treasury over to you in a seceond to mitigate his emergency and make it go away if he could!
    Yeah, I am not going to lose sleep over this guy's opinion. But you are always going to run into people that say stuff like this, and nothing is better than watching the look on their face as you explain why it is so important to have paid firefighters ready to respond. This is just another statistic to throw at them. The more people see it the way we see it, the more success we'll have when bargaining for manpower, equipment, etc. And your right, when their house is on fire, it is guy's like this that are the first to say "what took you so long?"

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    One initial basic statistic is this: Fires occur at a rate directly proportional to population.

    Sure, you may have some shifting in the types of fires from community to community, and between differing demographic groups in a community...but comparing broad areas, 1,000,000 people protected by an urban career department has as many fires a 1,000,000 people protected by scattered rural and small city departments.

    2005

    63 Volunteer LODDs

    32 Career LODDs

    11 Wildland

    Putting aside Wildland, looking at bread & butter Structure / Normal Community Emergency services:

    63/95ths = 66%

    32/95ths = 34%

    The next question is what percentage of the population is protected by each.

    The formula used for FIRE Act funds is 55% of the nation is protected by volunteer or combination departments.

    That "Combination" category is a bit of statistical tough nut -- other sources place the population protected by primarily full-time forces at 58% (or 42% primarily volunteer, to put it another way).

    If you protect 55% of the population, and fires are directly related to population, you'd expect 55% of the casualties if the rates where comparable.

    What we see is volunteers protect between 42% and 55%, with 66% of casualties. So that's 20% to 57% higher LODD than is proportional to the population (and thus number of fires) protected.

    HOWEVER, I certainly wouldn't make too much of this.

    One, volunteers have a disproportionate risk from motor vehicle accidents. As safe as you wish to be, POV responses to the station; faster speeds capable in areas without heavy traffic; longer response distances; heavier apparatus to carry more water; frequently older apparatus that lack modern safety equipment; and more poorly constructed and aligned roadways all are factors that are mostly out of the fire service's control -- the roads and response patterns are simply more likely to result in a serious accident even if we drive just as carefully as an urban department.

    Two, you have older members and/or those who wouldn't meet the standards generally found in a career department. We shouldn't have people who can't pass a basic physical and represent a walking heart attack -- but at the same time, there is no reason the volunteer service needs to be as selective as a career department which has more applications then openings. I really don't get my panties in a knot about a 76 year old fire policeman who dies of a heart attack -- the service they provide overall outweighs the tiny statistical possibility they'll die on duty. I also don't think such deaths should count as "In-the-Line" of duty death, but simply an on-duty one.

    We could all eliminate LODDs today. Don't leave the station. Well, almost eliminate them because some of the LODDs are dead-in-the-bunk and trip-and-fall at the station.

    So are volunteer LODDs occuring at a disproportionately high rate?

    Yeah. Still not that many in raw numbers.

    And some of it is not something that is easily or could be changed.

    And some of it can be fairly changed by better training to make up for inexperience (although that applies to a number of career LODDs in smaller communities, too).

    A lot of LODDs could be eliminated by keeping our eyes on the ball -- I'm not saying being a sour puss...have fun, but at the same time don't take things to casually and be back-slapping each other on how great a job your doing when you should be paying attention to running the fire properly.

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    Default My response to the paid to sleep comments

    I am not paid for the work I do. I am paid for what I am willing to do, that includes dying for someone I dont even know. See if that is a good enough argument for why I am paid to sleep (if I am ever that lucky). Figure out the pay/hour, and than see if he would bust his butt for the pay.

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    Dalmation... that was a helpful response. Thank you.

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    You could always tell them to take the test and they too can "sleep" and get paid. That is, if they dont mind the risk and the sacrifices that come along with the job.

    I guess the military should only get paid when someone is shooting at them??

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    Just to elaborate a bit on Dal's numbers, I went and did some looking at USFA's website. According to them, there are 30,400 departments in the country (2004), 76.2% all vollie, 13.4% mostly vollie, 4.1 mostly career, 6.3 career. Career/mostly career make up 10% of the FD, and protect 61% of the US populations. Vollie/mostly volly make up 90%, cover 39%

    I'm having trouble finding numbers to translate over to actual FF numbers of how many are career and vollie. But, with 90% of the FD's having 66% of the LODD's, I hate to say they're good numbers, but it could be construed that way.

    Personally, I think career FF's are more likely to take risks due to the fact they are on scene faster, have more equipment and manpower close behind, and are more likely to take more risks. As opposed to vollie, who primarily protect the rural area, who arrive on scene after a fire's been burning longer and is more involved (more likely to take a defensive posture), have less resources, etc.

    But the flip side of the coin is that the career guys, in theory, are better trained and equipped to handle the situation, as opposed to the vollies.

    Anyway, I wouldn't take much of what this guys says to heart. The way I figure it, when I'm at my career dept. I'm paid to be there in case I'm needed, not to be there in case I might get paid.

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    OK, after I posted I found what I was looking for....

    Estimated number of firefighters in 2004: 1,100,750 (career: 305,150=27.7%, volunteer: 795,600=72.3%)

    So, dal's numbers aren't far off of the career/vollie ratios.

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    Hmmm...

    I think Catch you have to be a bit more specific in "risks"

    I do think many large, urban departments take on risks I wouldn't in my town -- but what's not reasonable for us in our situation is not necessarily unreasonable for them. When the quality and quantity of your incoming firefighters is much more certain, it does reasonably affect your risk/benefit analysis. (And look at the on-the-quiet response thread going on recently -- what FFRED sees as an eternity waiting 40 seconds longer for the next due companies doesn't really worry me because any given fire, that could be from zero seconds to five minutes or longer depending on how quick trucks got on the road...the basis used to make decisions irregardless of the structure and fire starts off different).

    At the same time, I've read a number of NIOSH reports where career guys made some basic mistakes. In general, when there is a NIOSH on a large, urban department usually it goes in my "**** Happens" pile -- stuff you don't expect that goes wrong. Not always, but often (see the recent FDNY Black Sunday one for what seems to be a **** Happens incident).

    But you get into suburban / smaller career departments, and their NIOSH reports start to look more like many of the smaller volunteer department screw-ups. Not that the small departments lack **** happens fires, but there seems to be a flip in the ratio.

    Is it less training? Less experience? A more lacksidasical attitude? Fewer "good Jakes"? Inconsistent training -- where firefighters from different generations or who attended different schools use incompatible tactics? Hesitation at the wrong time? I don't know...probably all those.

    And that's certainly not to slam the volunteer system. Or any for that matter...the truth is we fight tens of thousands of fires without fatalities.
    That's not a bad record. It's just we still lose too many people for stupid reasons we could fix with training and mind-set.

    There's many excellent urban departments; there's many excellent small career departments, and excellent small and large volunteer departments. And there are screw-ups in all the different echelons that are accidents waiting to happen.

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