Rural Fire Protection

Issue 6 and Volume 126.

Rural Fire Protection For many of the Americans who live on rural land, “fire protection is woefully inadequate,” the commission charged and added that “the same is true of many suburban dwellers” whose communities have not kept pace with rapid population growth. The problems of rural areas, the commission found, include “insufficient water supplies, lack of building codes or too few inspectors to enforce them, insufficient funds to pay fire fighters or replace antiquated equipment.” The fire death rate for whites in non-metropolitan areas is half again as great as for whites in metropolitan counties (4.0 vs. 2.7 per 100,000), according to HEW, the commission report stated. Among non-whites, the fire fatality rate in the same areas is 15.3 vs. 8.1 per 100,000. In rural areas, as in urban areas, most fire deaths occur at night. If rural dwellers awake only to be trapped by fire, “it may be many…

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