How Many Fire Departments are there in the United States?

Fire Departments are there in the United States

A fire department is an organized body of people trained and equipped to extinguish fires and respond to emergencies. Let us get along to know how many fire departments are there in the United States.

Overview of Fire Departments in the United States

Total Number

As of the latest data, there are approximately 29,452 fire departments in the United States. These include both career (paid) and volunteer departments.

Types of Fire Departments

Fire departments in the U.S. can be categorized into several types:

  • Career Departments: Staffed by full-time paid firefighters. There are about 7,857 career fire departments.
  • Volunteer Departments: Operated primarily by volunteers. There are about 19,122 volunteer fire departments.
  • Combination Departments: Employ both career and volunteer firefighters. There are about 2,473 combination fire departments.

Distribution by State

States with the Most Fire Departments

Some states have a higher number of fire departments due to their size and population:

  • Pennsylvania: Over 1,800 fire departments.
  • Texas: Approximately 1,500 fire departments.
  • New York: Around 1,700 fire departments.

States with the Fewest Fire Departments

Smaller or less populated states have fewer fire departments:

  • Hawaii: About 25 fire departments.
  • Rhode Island: Around 70 fire departments.
  • Delaware: Approximately 60 fire departments.


The United States has a vast network of fire departments, totaling around 29,452, comprising career, volunteer, and combination departments. This extensive system ensures coverage and emergency response capabilities across the nation.

Frequently Asked Question

What is the difference between a career and a volunteer fire department?

Career fire departments are staffed by full-time paid firefighters, while volunteer fire departments rely primarily on volunteers.

How are fire departments funded?

Fire departments are typically funded through a combination of local government budgets, state and federal grants, and community donations.

Are there fire departments that handle specialized emergencies?

Yes, some fire departments have specialized units for hazardous materials, technical rescue, and medical emergencies.

How do fire departments coordinate during large-scale emergencies?

Fire departments often collaborate through mutual aid agreements and coordinated response plans for large-scale emergencies.

What training do firefighters undergo?

Firefighters undergo extensive training in fire suppression, emergency medical response, hazardous materials handling, and rescue operations.

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