F is for Firefighters


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.”

In 2009, US firefighter fatalities included 47 volunteer firefighters, 36 career firefighters, and 7 part-time or full-time members of wildland or wildland contract fire agencies.

Is the fire protection in your locale career or voluntary firefighters?

How Do I Become A Volunteer Firefighter?

US Fire Administration

ABC Wednesday – Round 8

0 thoughts on “F is for Firefighters”

  1. Terrific homage to firefighters for the F Day! They are so very important to all of us! I know we appreciate them so very much and I’m certain everyone else feels the same way! Have a great week, Roger!

    Sylvia
    ABC Team

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  2. There is always something going up in flames around here, either on the roadway or in the city. That is a lot of volunteer firefighters never realize at how many volunteer before. Great Post with a lot of much information.

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  3. We have a volunteer fire service in this area. One day, Barry had been buying a battery locally. When he got home, one of our cars caught fire. The leading fireman who attended was the man who’d just sold Barry the battery!

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  4. I have known both professional and volunteer firefighters, and have always admired them. They are doing a job I could never do, and they have my appreciation and my thanks.
    — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  5. In our little town our Firefighters are volunteer. We had a bad fire about two blocks from our home two month ago. It was an apartment building, One man lost his life in it. Other fire companies were called in to help contain the fire.

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  6. In my town they are paid but where I grew up they were volunteers. It was the days of the klaxon alarm, always exciting as a child to hear the alarm and see them running from all directions to the fire station. We love our firemen.

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  7. Fire fighters are true heroes in Colorado. Except when they are the ones who start the fires. oops.
    But really I am so thankful for the firefighters who keep our family and homes safe in these Rocky mountains.

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  8. Great post!
    Very informative and a great tribute to firemen! The first photo is scary.
    [At first I thought you posted a photo of Italian carabinieri: the black uniform with the red stripe is very similar].

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  9. Great choice for F, – we owe a lot to Volunteer Firemen. Thankfuly we have only had to call them once, for a chimney fire, but in our community they prove themselves to be courageous and competent and compassionate, and are really respected.

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  10. We have a fire station in our circle. At first I was upset that the empty lot would be used for that, but now it’s a great comfort. There’s always somebody awake at the fire station.

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  11. So glad that we have firefighters! My uncle was one on Molokai and when he passed away in ’06 it was quite something-his funeral. His casket was taken to the graveyard on a firetruck (tradition) and there were bag pipes being played-another tradition! Kinda odd on Molokai, those bag pipes.

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  12. I think I have never seen a really big fire, but I live around the corner of a fire station. Last summer there suddenly appeared about 15 fire trucks and a couple of ambulances and I was worried that something awful had happened. Turned out they were just having a BBQ…

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  13. those statistics are mindblowing. At any given moment, there is a fire happening in this world. I hope I’m not ever there at any one of those moments. Knock on wood, thankfully. We have a paid force but the town next door has volunteers. So, our brigade races the 7 miles over to help them.

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  14. Hello, Roger 🙂

    Oh, fire… An element to respect and fear. So useful, and so devastating. I highly respect firefighters for their courage and giving nature.

    Kisses from Nydia.

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  15. Most of the firemen on Long Island are volunteer. & we seem to have firehouses all over the place. Off the top of my head I can think of three of them within a 3 mile radius of where I live.
    My brother has been a volunteer fireman for as long as I can remember & my brother in-law has been a NYC fireman for 12 years. God bless the world’s firemen!
    Great post Roger!

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  16. Volunteer firefighters in my part of the world. We pay a yearly fee to the local VFD, which is required to extinguish all fire in the community regardless of whether the fee has been paid or not. If you’ve paid the fee, there is no charge. If you haven’t paid the fee, you are billed several hundred dollars.

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  17. Wonderful tribute! Thanks for your comment. I actually grew up in Amsterdam and we try to get out to the Albany area when we can. Perhaps I’ll get the chance sometime to check out the Farmers Market in Troy!

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  18. Our fire department in Mississippi was volunteer and here in Virginia, they are professional.
    In Mississippi the fire fighters came to our lab each year… for fire extinguisher training… a mandatory thing for accreditation of the lab… we had to have a safety manual and fire extinguisher training was part of that. I always thought it was a good idea.

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  19. Very sobering facts indeed. We have both paid and volunteer firefighters where we live…city and county. I don’t know how firefighters do what they do, but I’m very glad there are people willing to do it!

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  20. A great choice for F day!
    I so admire firemen too! Fires are such a plague in my native country, Portugal. When I go there on holidays and see the beautiful forest all calcinated it is so heartbreaking! Without speaking of the poor people who lose everything and sometimes their lives too!

    ***
    Hope you are having a happy week, Roger****

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  21. We have paid firefighters here, but in the small town where I lived previously for 20 years there were only volunteer firefighters. they did an awesome job! Great post for the week!

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