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Slaying the Dragon: Firefighters Vs. Fire (A Trivia Quiz About Firemen)

Fighting the Dragon

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It is a privilege to be related to a professional firefighter (my son-in-law). He is a tremendous example of a strong man, both in his protecting and serving the community, and with my daughter and my grand kids. This article and fun trivia quiz is dedicated to him and his fellow warriors.

Below you will find ten multiple choice questions for your consideration. After taking the quiz, the answers will be automatically calculated and the results given. Below the quiz, you will find the expanded answers. This is the first in a series of 3.

Fire is the Enemy

Every fire call is a potential life risk
Every fire call is a potential life risk | Source

Expanded Answers to Quiz

1. What is the average lifespan of a firefighter?

Answer: 84. Contrary to popular belief, the lifespan of a firefighter has actually improved over the years, even though they are exposed to many carcinogens, dangerous fumes, extreme heat, and many other dangerous aspects of their job. So how then, can a firefighter's life expectancy have improved to the point where it actually matches a cashier's? For one, firefighters exercise better than most people and, the safety equipment and training has greatly improved over the years.

2. What percentage of firefighters are women?

Answer: 3.8%. The current number of active women firefighters is 295,000. Back in 1986, the number was 170,000. In a about 30 years, the number has almost doubled

3. On average how many firefighters die each year fighting fires?

Answer: 81. The ten-year average is 81. Here are the year-to-year to year totals back to 2006:

  • 2015: 73
  • 2014: 61
  • 2013: 97
  • 2012: 64
  • 2011: 61
  • 2010: 73
  • 2009: 82
  • 2008: 105
  • 2007: 106
  • 2006: 90

From 1977 to 1986 the average was 124. The average has dropped considerably, which is attributed to increased safety procedures and better equipment and training.

4. How many false alarms are there each year?

Answer: One of the biggest impacts on cost and danger to firefighters is responding to false alarms. There were over 2,753 false alarms last year and that number is steadily increasing.

5. How many firefighters are there?

Answer: Currently there are approximately 1,134,400 firefighters working in the continental USA. Of that number, 346,150 are full time paid firefighters and about 788,250 are volunteers. There are about twice as many volunteers as full time career firefighters.

6. What is the average firefighter's age?

Answer: The best-represented age range is from thirty and thirty-nine, making up 28% of the firefighter workforce. The next group is the forty to forty-nine age range, coming in at 26%.

7. What is the average salary of a career firefighter?

Answer: As of 2015, the average salary of a career firefighter in United States was $49,330 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

8. How high can the tallest ladder truck in the USA reach?

Answer: 100'. Although there may be some slightly taller, 100' seems to be the normal tallest.

9. How many fire departments in the USA?

Answer: There are 29,980 fire departments in the U.S.

10. What is the average total property loss value last year (2015)?

Answer: $14.2 billion. There were 1,345,500 building structure fires in 2015. For those fires, an estimated property loss of $14.3 billion was reported. The total number of civilian deaths in structure fires for 2015 was 3,280. The number of civilian injuries reported was 15,700.

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When I am called to duty, God

whenever flames may rage,

give me the strength to save some life

Whatever be its age.

Help me to embrace a little child

before it’s too late,

or some older person

from the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert

and hear the weakest shout,

and quickly and efficiently

to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling

and give the best in me,

to guard my neighbor

and protect his property.

and if according to my fate

I am to lose my life,

Please bless with your protecting hand

my children and my wife.

— Author Unknown

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Comments 2 comments

Jodah profile image

Jodah 3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

Interesting hub, Joel. I am an ex-volunteer firefighter and secretary of the local brigade. Unfortunately the quiz questions don't show up for me, only the expanded answers. Oh well, the stats are worth reading.


Joel Diffendarfer profile image

Joel Diffendarfer 3 weeks ago from Ft Collins, Colorado Author

Hi Jodah, thanks for reading...and thanks for your service. I will check with HP to find out what the issue may be-Joel

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