USFA Releases Structure Fire Response Times Report

Washington, D.C. -Deputy United States Fire Administrator Charlie Dickinson, announced today the release of the Structure Fire Response Times report from the National Fire Data Center in Emmitsburg, MD. Response times in this report are measured from alarm time to the arrival of firefighters on scene.

To the fire service, “total” response time is typically measured from the time a call is received by their emergency communications center to the arrival of the first apparatus at the scene. For the public, the clock for response time begins when an individual becomes aware there is an emergency incident occurring and they place a call for assistance. While the difference between these two approaches may vary by only a minute or so, for someone awaiting arrival of help, the time can be agonizing. This study confirms, however, that local fire departments’ response times to structure fires are less than 5 minutes nearly 50 percent of the time.

The report, Structure Fire Response Times, is based on data from the 2001 and 2002 National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). The report examines general trends in response times to structure fires as well as regional, seasonal and time of day trends.

A copy of the full report can be downloaded from

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