Two-Thirds of Volunteer Firefighters Report their Department is Underfunded

Four in Five Spend Their Own Money Purchasing Supplies or Equipment for their Department

Two-Thirds of Volunteer Firefighters Report their Department is Underfunded

New York, NY - Two thirds (64%) of volunteer firefighters report that their department does not have sufficient funds to sustain all areas in which it operates, according to a recent Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Duracell, a leading manufacturer of high-performing alkaline batteries. The situation seems particularly critical in the South, where 70% of volunteer firefighters believe their departments do not receive enough funds. In addition, the survey shows that fire chiefs, are also more likely than other volunteer firefighters to believe their department is underfunded (80%).

Using their Own Money

The survey shows that over four in five (86%) volunteer firefighters dip into their own pockets to purchase supplies and/or equipment for their department. The numbers are spread almost evenly across the Northeast (84%), Midwest (84%), South (89%) and West (87%).

Of those who report using their own money, eight in ten (80%) dispense over $100 a year; including more than half (55%) who say they spend $101 to $500, 17% who spend $501 to $1,000, and 8% who spend more than $1,000 a year.

Overall, volunteer firefighters in the Northeast (73%) are less likely than those in the South (86%) and the West (86%) to report they spend over $100 of their own money.

Volunteer Firefighters While Working Full-Time

In addition to spending their own money, most volunteer firefighters also spend a lot of their time in the fire department. Six in ten (59%) report to volunteer over 10 hours a week, including 24% who volunteer over 20 hours a week.

However, when they are not serving their community, most volunteer firefighters also have a full-time job; with 63% of them reporting that in addition to being a firefighter, they work over 40 hours a week in their paid profession. An additional 21% report to work 21 to 40 hours a week, while just a small proportion are either retired (10%) or work under 20 hours a week (3%).

Tough Hours

Most volunteer firefighters say they are most often call into action in the evening and wee hours of the morning; as 64% of them report that the most common time of the day they are called upon to serve is between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. - this includes half of all respondents (51%) who report to be called on duty between 6 p.m. and midnight, and 13% who report they are most often called between midnight and 6 a.m.

In contrast, only a quarter of all respondents (25%) report being called to serve most often during the day, including 19% who say they are most frequently called between noon and 6.p.m., and just 6% who report being called during the 6 a.m. and noon.

These are some of the findings of an online Ipsos poll conducted January 4 - 11, 2011. For the survey, a national sample of 533 volunteer firefighters from the National Volunteer Fire Council was interviewed online. A probability sample of 533 respondents, with a 100% response rate, would have an estimated margin of error of +/-4.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of volunteer firefighters in the United States been polled.

All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Julio C Franco Senior Research Manager Ipsos Public Affairs New York, NY 646-313-6117 julio.franco@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and the Hispanic polling partner of Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBC Universal providing Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world.

Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

To learn more visit: www.ipsos-na.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2009, Ipsos generated global revenues of e943.7 million ($1.33 billion U.S.).

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

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