First responders are an integral part of every community – especially when it comes to keeping people safe. Firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers are the first ones on the scene in emergencies, often putting their own lives on the line to protect their neighbors. And that can be a stressful job. First responders often work long, irregular hours and deal with traumatic situations, putting them at a higher risk of work-related illness and injury.
There’s no question that first responders support the communities they live in. But which communities provide the most support for first responders? To find the best places for first responders to live and work, GoodCall analyzed nearly 1,000 metropolitan areas in terms of safety, housing affordability, job prospects and more:
- Housing affordability
- Comparative salary
- Job competitiveness
- Job availability
The result? 100 areas that offer a great quality of life and work for first responders. See our full rankings and methodology below:
- Housing affordability: The average cost of housing in each metropolitan area, as percentage of average salary for first responders in that area. Source: The U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Comparative salary: The average salary for first responders (firefighters, EMTs and paramedics, police officers and sheriff’s patrol officers) in each metropolitan area, compared to the average overall salary in that area. Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Job competitiveness: The number of available first responder jobs in each metropolitan area, weighed against the number of resumes from each area currently posted. Source: Indeed.com.
- Job availability: The number of available first responder jobs in each area, per 1,000 residents. Source: Indeed.com.
- Crime: The annual number of violent crimes reported in each metropolitan area. Source: AreaVibes.com, using the FBI’s uniform crime reports for 2014.
- Amenities:: The number of arts, entertainment and restaurant venues in each metropolitan area. Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics.