ESO Releases 2021 ESO Fire Service Index to Explore Key Trends and Measures Affecting Fire Departments Across the Country

“The Index provides valuable insight into what departments are facing and how they are responding.”

ESO, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments, hospitals, and state EMS/trauma offices today announced the findings of its 2021 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 calls related to COVID-19. Data for the Index are from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and come from ESO’s systems.    

“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 incidents and COVID-19. 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 percent of all incidents while fire responses accounted for 3 percent of incidents.
  • Outside of EMS calls, the most common incident types include: 1) Good intent call, 2) Service call, 3) False alarm and false call.
  • First apparatus turnout time, travel time, and response time look positive: Median first apparatus turnout time clocked in at 1 minute and 10 seconds, travel time was 4 minutes and 3 seconds, and response time was 6 minutes and 32 seconds.
  • Family dwellings are the most common property type among Fire incidents: Residential properties (one or two-family dwelling structures and multifamily dwelling properties) accounted for 42 percent of all fire incident locations.
  • 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 $362M in total property loss. Nevertheless, over half of all fire incidents did not have a documented loss estimate.
  • COVID-19 had an impact: Nearly 50,000 (or 2.2 percent) responses listed COVID-19 as a suspected or confirmed factor. This number jumped to 3.8 percent or higher in November and December.

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 537 departments across the United States that use ESO’s products and services. These data are based on 2,096,597 records between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

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, and state EMS offices. 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

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