Understaffing of fire departments is a nationwide problem. So much so in fact, that the ICMA has conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of fire companies based on staffing. This information was published Managing Fire Services, 2nd edition. This international organization of city leaders recognizes the importance of a properly staffed fire department. This publication included this information:
1. Fire suppression operations have three basic functions: (1) RESCUE
; (2) work involving ladder, forcible entry, and ventilation; and (3) the application of water. To raise ladders, ventilate, search, and RESCUE
simultaneously takes quick action by at least FOUR
and often EIGHT
or more firefighters, each under the supervision of an officer.
2. If about SIXTEEN trained firefighters are not operating at the scene of a working fire within the critical time period, then DOLLAR LOSS and INJURIES are significantly INCREASED as is fire spread.
3. As firefighting tactics were conducted and judged for effectiveness;
5 -person companies were 100% effective.
4 -person companies were 65% effective.
3 -person companies were 38% effective.