One of the most riveting events in my early life was the massive fire that took place at an apartment complex known as the Rogers block, four wooden structures just down the street from my grandmother’s house. While the building were a total loss, I don’t recall any casualties. Moreover, the firemen – they were all men in those days – managed to contain the fire to those buildings, not allowing it to reach the nearby homes.
So fires have long fascinated me. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the The 2009 U.S. fire loss clock
•A fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds.
•One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.
•One home structure fire was reported every 87 seconds
•One civilian fire injury was reported every 31 minutes.
•One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 55 minutes.
•One outside fire was reported every 49 seconds.
•One vehicle fire was reported every 146 seconds.
I have always lived in locations with paid firefighters. Yet, “volunteers comprise 71% of firefighters in the United States. Of the total estimated 1,148,100 volunteer and paid firefighters across the country, 812,150 are volunteer.” Moreover, “the majority of fire departments in the United States are volunteer. Of the total 30,165 fire departments in the country, 20,857 are all volunteer; 5,099 are mostly volunteer; 1,752 are mostly career; and 2,457 are all career.”
Is the fire protection in your locale career or voluntary firefighters?