On May 4, 1973, the National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control issued a report, “America Burning,” which focused its attention on the nation’s fire problem and the needs of the fire services and allied professions. USFA was established by Public Law 93-498, the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, which called for the establishment of a National Fire Academy (NFA) to advance the professional development of the fire service personnel and of other people engaged in fire prevention and control activities; a technology program of development, testing and evaluation of equipment for use by the nation’s fire, rescue and civil defense services; the operation of a National Fire Data Center (NFDC) for the selection, analysis, publication and dissemination of information related to the prevention, occurrence, control and results of fires of all types; and to take all necessary steps to educate the public and to overcome public indifference to fire and fire prevention.
From its beginning, USFA focused on supplementing, not duplicating, existing programs of training, technology and research, data collection and analysis, and public education. Today, the focus of the 4 stars in the USFA logo has been adjusted to include fire and emergency medical services (EMS) training, research, the NFDC, and community risk reduction. We consider these core components the crux of everything we do. With the recent reorganization, our work has expanded to include coordination of EMS programs and is focused on and related to local fire departments and the firefighters and paramedics who respond across the nation every day. This direct interaction at the local level translates into our capability to reduce the fire and EMS challenges across the nation.
The USFA will continue to adjust as new developments and challenges facing the fire and EMS community evolve, always with the intention of providing leadership and support in the shared responsibilities for public safety. As dangers and risks increase in nature, complexity and severity in the areas of hazardous material, pandemic disease, acts of terrorism, natural disasters, violent or hostile events, civil disorder, wildfire in the urban interface, and emerging technology, USFA will adapt as necessary to deliver on its mission.
U.S. Fire Administration mission
A prepared and resilient fire and emergency medical services
This vision statement is the focus of the USFA. It is intended to reflect the overall status and wellbeing of the nation’s emergency response systems, as well as the nation’s career and volunteer first responders.
We support and strengthen fire and emergency medical services and stakeholders to prepare for, prevent, mitigate and respond to all hazards.
Our mission statement describes who we are and why we exist. Ultimately, our stakeholders determine the programs we deliver. Our employees are committed to providing management and specialty training, leading the country’s fire prevention efforts, providing research, and data collection and analysis. We are obligated and committed to deliver programs at the highest level possible in the most professional, efficient and cost-effective manner.
The character of USFA is determined by the credibility, influence and engagement we have with our stakeholders. Our collective obligation to our core values builds and sustains the momentum necessary to be a high-performing organization. Fully involved participation is expected from all USFA employees and requires a personal commitment to the core values. We have a culture where employees demonstrate the behavior and performance for the organization with integrity, honesty, excellence, accountability, respect, trust and communication.