City

Population

(2010)

City GDP

($B, estimate)

Firefighters

MLR

estimate

New York

8,175,133

554

10,849

9,331

Chicago

2,695,598

151

4,233

3,053

Dallas

1,197,816

70

1,586

1,355

Houston

2,099,451

135

4,000

2,378

Los Angeles

3,792,621

217

3,588

4,300

Philadelphia

1,526,006

89

1,876

1,727

Phoenix

1,445,632

65

1,700

1,635

San Antonio

1,327,407

50

1,622

1,501

San Diego

1,307,402

72

824

1,479

San Jose

945,942

86

665

1,071

Baltimore

620,583

33

1,676

702

Boston

621,383

43

2,113

703

Columbus, OH

789,939

40

1,659

893

Detroit

711,910

33

1,139

805

Jacksonville

823,316

37

1,235

931

Memphis

647,870

32

1,620

732

Philadelphia

1,528,306

89

2,445

1,730

San Francisco

805,463

60

1,772

911

Seattle

610,710

41

1,099

691

 

Table 2.  Number of firefighters for various US cities, ca. 2009-2010, with US Census data for cities from 2010 Census, and US Bureau of Economic Analysis data for GDP, estimated using the corresponding Metropolitan area (smallest reporting area in the BEA data) and multiplying by the ratio of city population to the metro area population.  The last two columns compare the actual reported number of firefighters to that estimated from the MLR model fit to data for 24 countries.

Sources: 

http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/in-tough-times-fire-department-untouched-2/#comparison-table

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/30/boston_spends_most_on_firefighters_in_us/

Note:  The Boston Globe Story refers to original data from a City of Columbus study.  I was unable to locate an online copy of that study; it appears to have either never been published or was removed later.  There was a controversy over the Columbus report as it reported Fire Department costs per Capita and contained erroneous calculations for the City of Boston, which were later publicly corrected.  However, I can find no reference to any issues with the underlying staffing level data.