Hi, I’m Paul Darley and thanks for tuning into our November issue of Inside Darley. If you’re like us here at Darley, your fire department, your business, your government organization is probably very busy finalizing your 2023 budgets and business plans. And really, this issue is designed to give you some tools to help you with that process.
The first tool or attachment that we’ve given you here is the 2021 NFPA Fire Loss Report, and I anxiously await this report every year. It shows that in 2021, there were 1.35 million fires here in the United States. Of those, 36% of those were structural, 15% were vehicle fires, and 49% were what they describe as wildfires or other. The good news is that, look, the number of fires was down 2.5% compared to 2020. And when comparing it to 1980, it was down 55%. What it wasn’t so great, the number of deaths, there were 3,800 deaths and fires in North America or in the United States last year. That rose 8.5%. Also, the damage created by these fires, even compared to 1980 in today’s dollars was very significant. That’s continued to rise. And in fact, it was $15.9 billion, primarily because of the wildfires.
The second attachment that we’ve attached for you here is the League of Cities Report, and this also just came out. And almost inevitably, every year, when it comes out, the number one issue facing cities is their budget concerns. And oddly enough, this has slipped to their number three concern. And they cite it’s largely due to unprecedented federal funding, as well as strong tax revenues. Number four, and it’s usually number four, is public safety concerns. And that’s shown on page 15 of this report. And it’s also reflective in how new fire apparatus orders for this year are up roughly 30%.
The third attachment for you here is the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) White Paper. It’s on how inflation hurts America’s National Defense and what you can do about it. So it really talks about the 2023 defense budget, which is $742 billion. But because of inflation, it really cites it’s $110 billion reduction based on inflationary concerns and other things. Its article also talks about the impact of the continuing resolution.
In October, we attended the AUSA Show, that’s the US Army Show in Washington DC. It was an amazing show for us. There was a lot of information, a lot of boosts with virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality. Those three things are now being bundled and what’s called XR. And in fact, there’s even an XR Association. And they’re lobbying Congress to have November be National XR months. So kind of interesting as we move forward.
November 11th is, of course, Veterans Day, and that really hits home with us here at Darley, with roughly a quarter of our employees being veterans, and roughly 40% of our defense division employees being veterans. And in fact, we’ve been talking a lot about podcasts, but we recently started a new podcast called In Service. And we feature, both Jeb Brown and Anthony Lorig, two amazing veterans on our team who talk about their service and working at Darley. We also featured Jordan Hatmaker, one of our employees who jumped out of an airplane and her parachute didn’t open, so she had a near death experience. And we feature some other vendors here as well.
We talk a lot about The Leadership Podcast. It’s a podcast that Darley is the exclusive sponsor for. And episode 327, features my daughter Audrey Darley, and it’s titled Never Sacrifice Form for Speed. It’s really a term that she coined. You can even just put that term into Google and you’ll be brought right to that podcast. So it really talks about don’t cut corners. And some great stuff there.
So, hey, thanks for tuning into this issue of Inside Darley. If there’s anything we can be doing to support you, we hope you’ll reach out to us.