In October, the National Fire Protection Association released the U.S. Fire Department Profile Through 2009 report, providing a variety of national statistics about career, combination, and volunteer fire departments.
Last year, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) found that according to the 2008 report, the majority of firefighters protecting communities of 2,500 or less were 40 years of age or older. The recently released 2009 report shows that this trend is continuing:
The 2009 report marks the highest level, both in the total number and percentage (27.4), of firefighters over the age of 50 serving in communities of 2,500 or less since NFPA began publishing this data in 1987. While the number of firefighters in our nation’s smallest communities under the age of 30 increased by 5,000 between 2008 and 2009, this still represents the third smallest total number of firefighters in this cohort since 1987. Additionally, the number of firefighters between the age of 30 and 39 fell below 100,000 for the first time.
Overall, the number of firefighters in communities of 2,500 or less under the age of 40 has declined by approximately 85,000 since 1987. They have been replaced by about 45,000 firefighters over the age of 40, all but 5,000 of whom are 50 or older. Click here for the full article.