National Fire Department Census quick facts

Fire departments registered

As of January 2015, there were 27,140 fire departments registered with the National Fire Department Census. This is about 90 percent of all U.S. fire departments. Census registration is voluntary.

Estimated

90%

of U.S. fire departments are registered with the census

Fire departments by region

The majority of the registered departments are located in the Southern and Midwestern states. The map shows the percentage distribution of fire departments by U.S. Census Bureau Region. Less than 1 percent of the registered fire departments are located in U.S. territories.

Percentage of registered fire departments by region – January 2015 1

South 35%
Midwest 31%
Northeast 21%
West 13%

Number of registered fire departments by state and territories (January 2015)

State Count
Total 27,140
Alabama 799
Alaska 157
Arizona 248
Arkansas 675
California 870
Colorado 325
Connecticut 251
Delaware 58
District of Columbia 3
Florida 477
Georgia 463
Hawaii 11
Idaho 193
Illinois 1,103
Indiana 762
Iowa 731
Kansas 502
Kentucky 677
Louisiana 416
Maine 338
Maryland 263
Massachusetts 362
Michigan 962
Minnesota 726
Mississippi 416
Missouri 772
Montana 279
Nebraska 389
Nevada 86
New Hampshire 212
New Jersey 709
New Mexico 244
New York 1,664
North Carolina 1,078
North Dakota 324
Ohio 1,143
Oklahoma 740
Oregon 307
Pennsylvania 1,795
Rhode Island 72
South Carolina 441
South Dakota 292
Tennessee 637
Texas 1,519
Utah 194
Vermont 202
Virginia 547
Washington 397
West Virginia 409
Wisconsin 775
Wyoming 114
U.S. territories 11

Stations

Fire departments registered with the census represent approximately 50,500 fire stations across the country. 2


Organization type and personnel


Department type

Of the fire departments registered with the census: 4, 5

Department type by state – January 2015

Volunteer and mostly volunteer fire departments, top five states by rank

98.3%
Delaware

97.2%
Minnesota

97.1%
Pennsylvania

96.9%
South Dakota

96.9%
North Dakota

Career and mostly career fire departments, top five states by rank

90.9%
Hawaii

51.0%
Florida

43.6%
Massachusetts

41.6%
Arizona

41.2%
California

Percentage of fire departments registered with the census by department type within each state 5

State Volunteer Mostly volunteer Mostly career Career
Total 71.1 16.0 4.5 8.4
Alabama 79.9 9.1 3.3 7.7
Alaska 60.0 29.7 1.3 9.0
Arizona 32.2 26.1 16.7 24.9
Arkansas 84.5 9.0 3.0 3.6
California 29.5 29.3 16.7 24.5
Colorado 47.7 31.1 8.3 12.9
Connecticut 62.9 22.3 3.6 11.2
Delaware 48.3 50.0 0.0 1.7
District of Columbia 0.0 0.0 33.3 66.7
Florida 35.0 14.0 17.0 34.0
Georgia 51.7 24.3 8.3 15.7
Hawaii 9.1 0.0 18.2 72.7
Idaho 59.4 30.2 3.6 6.8
Illinois 66.9 14.6 6.6 11.9
Indiana 74.8 13.9 2.6 8.7
Iowa 90.3 5.6 0.8 3.3
Kansas 79.5 10.8 3.8 6.0
Kentucky 75.6 16.0 3.3 5.1
Louisiana 50.2 36.5 4.3 8.9
Maine 73.7 21.0 2.7 2.7
Maryland 60.3 28.2 4.6 6.9
Massachusetts 27.3 29.0 17.1 26.5
Michigan 65.9 21.0 3.8 9.3
Minnesota 87.9 9.3 0.8 1.9
Mississippi 71.2 15.9 3.8 9.1
Missouri 72.8 12.7 5.2 9.2
Montana 84.2 10.0 1.1 4.7
Nebraska 92.5 3.6 1.6 2.3
Nevada 55.3 24.7 8.2 11.8
New Hampshire 55.0 31.3 9.0 4.7
New Jersey 75.6 13.6 3.5 7.2
New Mexico 78.6 10.3 2.9 8.2
New York 90.0 4.6 1.1 4.2
North Carolina 63.3 28.2 4.0 4.5
North Dakota 92.3 4.6 0.0 3.1
Ohio 61.2 22.0 4.8 12.1
Oklahoma 81.5 10.3 2.0 6.1
Oregon 44.0 46.3 3.9 5.9
Pennsylvania 90.2 6.9 0.4 2.5
Rhode Island 38.0 23.9 11.3 26.8
South Carolina 55.7 26.5 9.8 8.0
South Dakota 92.5 4.4 0.3 2.7
Tennessee 74.8 12.6 5.4 7.2
Texas 71.9 13.2 4.8 10.1
Utah 67.2 20.3 5.7 6.8
Vermont 88.6 8.0 2.5 1.0
Virginia 72.9 16.3 4.2 6.6
Washington 41.0 38.5 9.1 11.4
West Virginia 90.9 4.7 1.5 3.0
Wisconsin 80.5 12.2 1.8 5.6
Wyoming 71.9 17.5 0.0 10.5
U.S. territories 9.1 0.0 18.2 72.7

State totals may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding.


Specialized services

Percentage of registered fire departments providing specialized services – January 2015

Specialized service provided Percentage
Vehicle extrication 75.6
Wildfire/Wildland Urban Interface 60.9
Fire prevention/Public education 60.9
Basic Life Support 57.8
EMS nontransport 37.9
Fire investigation 34.3
Fire inspection/Code enforcement 34.2
Technical rescue 34.0
Training academy 22.2
EMS transport 20.6
Advanced Life Support 20.6
Hazardous Materials Team (technician) 17.5
Juvenile firesetter intervention program 13.5
Airport/Aviation 7.7
Fireboat 4.1

Notes

  1. The regions of the United States are defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont); South (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia); Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin); and West (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming).
  2. For counties in Maryland, Nevada and Virginia where it is known that both the county-level fire department registered with the census and the individual fire departments affiliated with that county department also registered, the computation of the number of stations includes only the number of stations reported by the county-level department to avoid counting stations twice.
  3. There were 108 fire departments that did not provide the number of personnel. For counties in Maryland, Nevada and Virginia where it is known that both the county-level fire department registered with the census and the individual fire departments affiliated with that county department also registered, the computation of the number of personnel includes only the personnel counts reported by the county-level department to avoid counting personnel twice. Numbers of personnel were rounded to the nearest 100.
  4. The department type is based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) definition (Career: 100 percent of a department’s firefighters are career; Mostly Career: 51-99 percent of a department’s firefighters are career; Mostly Volunteer: 1-50 percent of a department’s firefighters are career; Volunteer: 100 percent of a department’s firefighters are volunteer).
  5. The numbers of fire department personnel are used to determine the department type. There were 108 fire departments that did not provide the number of personnel. These departments were excluded from this analysis.

Census last updated: May 19, 2015