Through the morning of 3/7/21, a total of 646 fireground civilian rescues by firefighters have been reported in U.S. news media and department press releases.
186 of these rescues were associated with a completed Firefighter Rescue Survey. The current survival rate for rescues by firefighters displayed in these follow up reports is 73%. When the 73% survival rate is applied to the total number of rescues recorded for 2021, it is estimated that in the U.S. 472 civilian lives have been saved this year through the direct actions of firefighters on the fireground.
A clearer vision of performance informs realistic comprehension and evaluation of strategy. Our war has two fronts. The reduction of fires and pre-event record belongs to prevention. When a fire does start, this is where we measure the performance of operations. We must continue to support the wins of prevention through the mission of reducing the number of fires, while simultaneously pushing to go forward more deliberately by defining and reviewing the wins of operations through the mission of improving outcomes for fire victims.