Report: Critical Health and Safety Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service

USFA and NVFC highlight issues related to health and safety



National Volunteer Fire Council

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has released the results of a partnership with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) that studied firefighter occupational health and safety challenges that are occurring in the volunteer fire service in order to develop initiatives, programs, and strategies to reduce on-duty injuries and fatalities among volunteer firefighters and EMS responders. This study also examined health and safety challenges among volunteer wildland firefighters.

Report: Critical Health and Safety Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service

The results of this study are contained in the new USFA report Critical Health and Safety Issues in the Volunteer Fire Service, which updated previous USFA research efforts with the NVFC in this area.

“This project is an important effort for improving the health and safety in the volunteer fire service,” said United States Fire Administrator, Ernest Mitchell. “USFA was pleased to partner with the NVFC in conducting this important study.”

Wildland Firefighting, begins on page 24 in report

The volunteer fire service has distinct issues related to health and safety including funding, time constraints, rural operations, and the declining number and aging of volunteer firefighters.

“The NVFC is grateful for the support of the USFA in our initiatives to develop effective programs to enhance health and safety in the volunteer fire service,” said NVFC Chairman, Kevin D. Quinn. “Health and safety are essential to the operational effectiveness of volunteer fire departments as well as valuable for retention and recruitment.  We are committed to protecting our boots on the ground firefighters and emergency personnel.”

This project supports USFA’s goal of reducing on-duty firefighter fatalities and injuries by developing effective safety and health support to the estimated 788,250 volunteer firefighters that represent 69 percent of all firefighters in the United States.

For supplemental resources to help address the volunteer fire service critical issues identified in this report visit:

Further information on this may be found on the USFA Web site at For more information about the NVFC, visit

The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides invaluable resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at


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