Leadership

VOLUNTEERS IN THE FIRE SERVICE

Issue 6 and Volume 153.

America has a long trad-ition of volunteerism in the fire service, from our colonial forefathers and bucket brigades to today’s well-trained volunteer firefighters and EMS providers. Today’s volunteer firefighters respond to a myriad of complex emergencies from injuries and illnesses to structure fires; from hazardous materials incidents to automotive, rail, and aircraft accidents; and from commercial and industrial incidents to natural and man-made disasters. Hand-powered pumps have been replaced with high-technology equipment including thermal imaging cameras; personal protective clothing; and sophisticated computer applications for dispatch, command and control, and community planning. According to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), volunteer firefighters comprise approximately 75 percent of all firefighters in the country, account for approximately 89 percent of the fire departments in America, and protect approximately 43 percent of the population. VOLUNTEER SERVICE SUPPORT The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has a long history of providing support and assistance to the…

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