When people call 911, they expect a rapid response from police, fire or EMS crews.  For the most part, the first responder community is at the ready.

But I came across an interesting study that looked at which states have the highest and the fewest number of emergency responders per capita and where the first responder community is taking the most weekly calls on average.

The number of Emergency Response Workers in Washington state is not good

  • Washington has 33.9 first responders per 10k people which is below the national average of 47.6 and the 2nd lowest nationwide.
  • Washington has the 2nd least amount of police officers per 10k with 14.59.
  • With only 7.59 EMS workers per 10k people,  Washington also has the 6th lowest amount in the country

A U.S. map showing the states with the most and least first responders.

Graphic: Rainbow Restoration study

The relationship between 911 call frequency and the number of first responders can show the emergency response capabilities in different states.  A look at the weekly 911 calls per first responder in each state shows the demand for emergency services.  Washington has the 7th highest weekly call rate per responder 

A bar chart showing how many more 911 calls are made per first responder in certain U.S. states.

Graphic: Rainbow Restoration study

Their methodology utilized data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the number of law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMT's and paramedics working in every state.  The total number of 911 calls from every state was obtained from 911.gov and compared with the number of first responders in each state to show the ratio of emergency calls to first responders.

Read more about the findings in the study by Rainbow Restoration.

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