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ESO releases 2020 ESO Fire Service Index to explore key trends affecting fire departments across the country

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AUSTIN, TexasESO, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments and hospitals, today announced the findings of its 2020 ESO Fire Service Index. The Index looks at key trends across fire departments nationwide, including the number of EMS calls versus fire-related calls, first apparatus turnout time and travel time, the most common property types visited and estimated property loss, as well as most common types of responses. Data for the Index are from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 and come from ESO’s systems.

“The Index provides valuable insight into what departments are responding to and how they are responding,” said Bill Gardner, Senior Director of Fire Products for ESO. “We’ve also added a section that digs into the most common types of calls for fire departments outside of EMS calls. Additionally, we take a deeper look at first apparatus turnout time and travel time. We hope the Index helps departments across the country take a close look at how they are performing in comparison to the nationwide numbers.”

Key Findings Include:

  • Fire departments, by and large, respond to more EMS calls than fire calls: Based on our data, we see that EMS calls accounted for more than 70 percent of all calls.
  • The most common fire-based calls (100 series) include: 1) Building fire, 2) Passenger vehicle fire, 3) Outside rubbish, trash or waste fire, 4) Cooking fire confined to a container and 5) Brush or brush-and-grass mixture.
  • First apparatus turnout time and travel time look positive: On average, first apparatus turnout time clocks in at 1 minute and 10 seconds, while average travel time is 4 minutes and 49 seconds.
  • Family dwellings are the most common property type among fire incidents: one or two-family dwelling structures accounted for 34 percent of all call locations, while multifamily dwelling properties accounted for 10 percent of all call locations.
  • In aggregate, one or two-family dwellings represented the largest financial loss in fire incidents; however, property loss is under-documented: One or two-family dwellings represented more than $123M in total property loss.

The full Index can be downloaded here.