Fire Fighters No Longer Fight Fires?

July 20, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Alex Tabarrok has a fascinating article where he looks at the evolution of fire-fighters in America. Highlights include:

  • In the past 35 years the number of fires have rapidly declined while the number of firefighters have even more rapidly increased.
  • Every time a fire truck is called it costs around $3,500 – and 25 calls in 24 hours is not uncommon.
  • The number of false alarms has doubled.
  • To give firefighters something to do they’re increasingly involved in activities such as responding to medical emergencies, dealing with gang violence, and even teaching.

To read more including many more details, several informative and fascinating graphs, the state of volunteer firefighters in the United States, why it’s hard to negotiate with firefighters, how Washington State is changing how it does things, what else firefighters do with their down time, why you can’t just have them lounging about, and the role of unions, click here.

Source: Marginal Revolution