So you want to be a firefighter? 10 stats about career

If you are interested in starting a career in firefighting, or if you are already employed in that field, you might be interested in reviewing the top 10 firefighter statistics.

Although firefighting can be dangerous and the hours are long and erratic, it is one of the most rewarding careers you can choose. By becoming either a career firefighter or a volunteer, you are making a valuable contribution to your community and to society at large.

The top 10 firefighter statistics as compiled by the National Fire Protection Association:

1. The estimated number of firefighters working in the U. S. is 1,148,100. Of that number, 335,950 are career firefighters and 812,150 are volunteers.

2. Firefighter statistics categorized by age group: Age 16-19 (3 percent), Age 20-29 (21 percent), Age 30-39 (28 percent), Age 40-49 (26 percent), Age 50-59 (16 percent), Age 60 and over (6 percent)

3. Firefighter statistics for average firefighter salary as of 2009: $47,270 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

4. The total number of firefighter responses was 26,534,500, reflecting an increase of 5.1percent over 2008.

5. Medical assistance was the number-one reason for firefighter response at 17,104,000. That figure reflects an increase of 8.5 percent over 2008.

6. The second highest reason for firefighter response was false alarms at 2,177,000. That figure was down 2.9 percent over the previous year.

7. The total number of firefighter responses because of fire was 1,348,500, reflecting a decrease of 7.1 percent from the previous year.

8. Seventy-three percent of career firefighters are working in communities

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with a population of 25,000 or more. This firefighter statistic reflects the fact that the population density is relational to the number of firefighters needed to protect the community.

9. Ninety-five percent of volunteer firefighters are working at fire departments which protect a population of less than 25,000. More than 50 percent of volunteers are located in small, rural departments which protect a population of less than 2,500.

10. There were 1,348,500 building structure fires in 2009. —Source: Firefighting 101