In 2019, almost 240 000 persons were employed as firefighters in 22 EU member states with available data, representing 0.1% of total EU employment, according to data released today by Eurostat, the statistical service of the EU, on the occasion of the International Firefighters’ Day celebrated every year on May 4.
Among these EU member states, Estonia, Cyprus and Latvia recorded the highest shares of firefighters in their workforces (all 0.4 % of total employment).
In 2018, the 27 EU member states’ government expenditure on ‘fire-protection services’ amounted to €29.5 billion. This expenditure is equivalent to 0.5% of total government expenditure, which is less than the amount spent on police services (expenditure equivalent to 1.9% of total expenditure in 2018).
Overall, in the EU, public expenditure on fire-protection services remained stable at around 0.4 – 0.5% of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2001.
In 2018, the ratio of government fire-protection expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States from 0.1% of total expenditure in Denmark, 0.2% in Malta and 0.3% in Ireland, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia, to 0.7% in Czechia and Lithuania, 0.8% in Romania and 0.9% in Bulgaria. In Cyprus this rate is 0.4% and in Greece 0.6%.