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How Has the Number of US Firefighters Changed?

The number of US firefighters has increased by 40% since the 1970s even though the number of fires has decreased by 40%. Firefighters are now employed in a number of roles, including providing paramedic services, accompanying paramedics and ambulances to accident scenes or medical emergencies and providing fire and safety education to community members. There are more volunteer firefighters in the US — serving mostly small towns and rural communities — than there are professional firefighters.

More about firefighters:

  • In 2010, 87 US firefighters died while on duty.

  • In several major cities, as much as 90% of firehouse emergency requests are for hook-and-ladder trucks to accompany ambulances.

  • Emergency services calls to request medical help have increased more than threefold since 1980.

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