Economic Effect Of Fire Fighting

(The data found on this subject dealt mainly with the a specific fire department in Arizona, USA).

They can evaluate effectiveness in many ways, such as lives saved, or response times. But they do fail to record the financial value of a saved business. Now, the United Phoenix Firefighters Association and the local Fire Department have joined forces with Arizona State University and Underwriter Laboratories (UL) to study and measure the sometimes positive side of firefighting: the side that saves materials, buildings, jobs and futures.

The impetus for the study came from a particular fire that threatened to catch hold of a large furniture store. Trendwood Manufacturing was hardly impacted because of the robust and well-wrought firefight. The crew began discussing the impacts of firefighting and wondered why no one ever measured goods saved during a fire. The department asked ASU to come up with a thesis: a method to measure the economic effectiveness of firefighters. The researchers use what is known as REMI. It forecasts the bearing of events and policies on a people and on their economy. They used the program and method on the fire department at zero cost and used REMI for examination of the furniture store fire. Trendwood had no problem agreeing with the plan.

The Trendwood lots were completely protected by the firefighters; and, they did not have to shut down afterward. Had there been substantial damage, the store would have had to close for at least a year. That would have impacted the jobs there, as well as the profit margin of the company. What Seidman’s results revealed is rather surprising:

  • 200 jobs lost had the fire department not saved Trendwood…
  • Disposable Personal Income lowered by 9-million dollars had the fire department not saved Trendwood…
  • State gross income lowered by 20 million dollars had the fire department not saved Trendwood…
  • Nearly all of the negative economic effects would have been felt the nearest county had the fire department not saved Trendwood…

All the participants were impressed with the results and decided to further the study. Upon further investigation of fires which met all the needed criteria, the financial impact was great. In one year in the state of Arizona, nearly 2350 jobs were saved, and the Gross State Product could have reduced by almost 200-million had firefighters not done their jobs. Studies continue to be conducted. But it is a step in the right direction.


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