ESO Releases 2022 ESO Fire Service Index to Explore Key Trends and Measures Affecting Fire Departments Across the Country

Index looks at response time, structures involved in fires, property loss and decontamination.

APRIL 15, 2022 – AUSTIN, TexasESO, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments, hospitals, state and federal agencies today announced the findings of its 2022 ESO Fire Service Index. The Index looks at key trends across fire departments nationwide, including the number of EMS calls versus fire-related incidents, first apparatus response time, the most common property types involved in fire-related incidents and estimated property loss, and decontamination. Data for the Index are from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021 and come from ESO data collaborative.

“The Index provides valuable insight into what departments are facing and how they are responding,” said Chief (ret.) Bill Gardner, Senior Director of Fire Products for ESO. “We dig a bit deeper in this latest version of the Index, looking more closely at incident types, components of response time, as well as documentation of property loss and value. We’ve also added a section specifically related to firefighter decontamination for exposure to fire products, being the first report of this type in the fire industry. 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: EMS incidents accounted for 69% of all incidents while fire responses accounted for 2% of incidents. With the advent of new, more fire-resistant building materials – as well as an increase in community risk reduction programs – fire calls have been decreasing overall. As a result, the American fire service has predominantly become involved in EMS on some level.
  • Residential properties accounted for 80% of all fire calls: Residential properties (one or two-family dwelling structures and multifamily dwelling properties) accounted for 80% of all fire incident locations. A staggering increase from 42% in 2020.
  • Within fire calls, the most common incident types include: 1) Structure fire (32%), 2) Outside rubbish fire (25%) and 3) Natural vegetation fire (19%). Coming in at number 3, researchers believe the patterns in vegetation fires may be due to changing wildland patterns or reduced wildland management which are causing longer, more frequent and larger wildland fires.
  • In aggregate, residential properties represented the second largest financial loss in Fire incidents; however, property loss is likely under-documented: Residential properties represented more than $713M, with another $1.3 billion in estimated content loss. Compare this to $362M in 2020.
  • Decontamination: 86% of fire incidents had at least one decontamination procedure noted. Documenting decontamination efforts are important in ensuring firefighting health and safety, particularly when it comes to preventing cancer.

The full Index can be downloaded here.

About the ESO Fire Service Index

The dataset for the ESO Fire Service Index is real-world data, compiled and aggregated from 642 departments across the United States that use ESO’s products and services. These data are based on 3,248,820 records between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

About ESO

ESO (ESO Solutions, Inc.) is dedicated to improving community health and safety through the power of data. Since its founding in 2004, the company continues to pioneer innovative, user-friendly software to meet the changing needs of today’s EMS agencies, fire departments, hospitals, state EMS offices and federal agencies. ESO currently serves thousands of customers throughout North America with a broad software portfolio, including the industry-leading ESO Electronic Health Record (EHR), the next generation ePCR; ESO Health Data Exchange (HDE), the first-of-its-kind healthcare interoperability platform; ESO Fire RMS, the modern fire Record Management System; ESO Patient Registry (trauma, burn and stroke registry software); and ESO State Repository. ESO is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Andy Prince

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