Nationwide the average annual salary of a full time Fire Chief is approximately $68,000.00, a Line Officer is around $62,000.00, and a Firefighter averages approximately $44,000.00 a year. In 2007, the average household income was $50,233.00. Firefighters fall below the national average, Line Officers and Chiefs are not much above it. Not a lot of money to raise a family, pay for school and put food on the table. In addition to that a firefighter will enter your burning home, endure tempters that can exceed 1800 degrees (You cook a turkey to 170 or 180 degrees). Expose themselves to a wide range of toxic gasses and many other life-threatening issues. They will do this to save as much as possible of the life you have established for yourself that they can. They are never asked to do this, they just show up at one of your worst moments in life, do what needs to be done, and more often then not, they will leave before you even have the chance to say thank you, they do not expect a thank you. Men and Women around the world do this daily, here in the United States a firefighter responds to a call every 22 seconds. Why do they do this, there are hundreds of reasons, money just is not the main one.
Seventy percent of the fire departments nationwide are one hundred percent volunteer; Troy Fire Protection District is part of that 70%. Since the early 1900’s, when the foundation was poured this department has proudly operated with a full staff of volunteers members. No members of the Troy Fire Protection District draw a salary; there are no paid full time firefighters on your department, we are all volunteers.
U.S. Fire Administration/FEMA Statistics
This section is to provide the general public some basic information of the fire service nationwide.
- Estimated number of fire departments in 2008: 30,170
- Estimated number of stations in the United States for 2006-2008: 52,400
- A fire department responds to a fire in the United States every 22.0 seconds
- Fire department types*: Career (8%), Mostly Career (6%), Mostly Volunteer (16%), All Volunteer (70%)
- 14% of all departments are career or mostly career and protect 61% of the U.S. population
- 86% of fire departments are volunteer or mostly volunteer and protect 39% of the population
- There are an estimated 68,200 pumpers, 6,725 aerial apparatus, and 75,300 other suppression vehicles (including tankers, brush vehicles, pumpers less than 1,000 gpm, hose usage, etc.) in the United States for 2006-2008
The following table shows the estimated numbers of fire departments and the numbers of departments by department type in the United States from 1999 to 2008.
Number of Fire Departments
Year All Fire All Mostly Mostly All
* Career=100% career firefighters, Mostly Career=51%-99% career firefighters, Mostly Volunteer=1%-50% career firefighters, Volunteer=100% volunteer firefighters
On duty Firefighter Fatalities (1977-2007)
The Overall Fire Picture – 2008
- There were 3,320 civilians that lost their lives as the result of fire.
- There were 16,705 civilian injuries that occurred as the result of fire.
- There were 118 firefighters killed while on duty.
- Fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined.
- 84 percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences.
- There were an estimated 1.5 million fires in 2008.
- Direct property loss due to fires was estimated at $15.5 billion. This figure includes the 2008 California Wildfires with an estimated loss of $1.4 billion.
- An estimated 32,500 intentionally set structure fires resulted in 315 civilian deaths.
- Intentionally set structure fires resulted in an estimated $866 million in property damage.
Career firefighters include full-time (career) uniformed firefighters regardless of assignments, e.g., suppression, prevention/inspection, administrative. Career firefighters included here work for a public municipal fire department; they do not include career firefighters who work for private fire brigades.
Volunteer firefighters include any active part-time (call or volunteer) firefighters. Active volunteers are defined as being involved in firefighting.
- Estimated number of firefighters in 2008: 1,148,850 (career: 321,700, volunteer: 827,150)
- Firefighters by age group: 16-19 (4%), 20-29 (25%), 30-39 (26%), 40-49 (24%), 50-59 (15%), 60 and over (6%)
- Seventy-four percent of career firefighters are in communities that protect a population of 25,000 or more.
- Ninety-four percent of the volunteers are in departments that protect a population of less than 25,000 and more than 50% are located in small, rural departments that protect a population of less than 2,500.
The following table shows the numbers of firefighters in the United States from 1999 to 2008.
Number of Firefighters
Source: National Fire Protection Association, U.S. Fire Department Profile Through 2008
National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Database http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/applications/ffmem/index.jsp