Posts Tagged 2012 firefighter fatality statistics


From the National Fire Protection Association:


Report: NFPA’s “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2012”
Author:  Rita F. Fahy, Paul R. LeBlanc and Joseph L. Molis
Issued: June 2013

Overall statistics on line-of-duty firefighter fatalities in 2012, including non-incident-related deaths. Includes patterns, trends, career vs. volunteer comparisons, and brief narratives on selected incidents.

In 2012, a total of 64 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the U.S. Stress, exertion, and other medical-related issues, which usually result in heart attacks or other sudden cardiac events, continued to account for the largest number of fatalities. Almost half of the deaths resulted from overexertion, stress and related medical issues. Of the 31 deaths in this category, 27 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths (usually heart attacks) three were due to strokes and one due to heat stroke.

Firefighter Fatalities


For the past four years, the annual total has been well below 100, dropping the annual average over the past 10 years to 88 deaths, the report showed.

The NFPA considers an on-duty firefighter as those at the scene, fire or non-fire incident (EMS); responding or returning from alarm; participating in any function such as fund-raising, education, training, maintentance.

Their criteria is different from both the USFA and the NFFF.

The NFPA researchers also noted another favorable trend — the number of volunteer firefighter — 30 — is the lowest reported. “…(It) maintains the general downward trend seen since 1999…”

“The number of on-duty deaths of volunteer firefighters in 2012 is approximately half the average number reported just 10 years ago. The trend for career firefighters has been relatively flat over the past 10 years, although the trend has been downward since 2009. This is the third consecutive year that the total for career firefighters has been 25 or lower,” they noted.

The report also highlighted a number of findings:


  • Lowest number of sudden cardiac deaths
  • Lowest number of deaths at structure fires
  • Lowest number of volunteer firefighter deaths
  • Fourth consecutive year the total number of road vehicle crash deaths has been 10 or lower
  • Fifth consecutive year of decreasing on-duty cardiac-related deaths
The number of sudden cardiac deaths is the lowest since the NFPA started calculating records in 1977, and the fifth year showing a decline, the report showed.
“The number of deaths in this category has fallen significantly since the early years of this study. From 1977 through 1986, an average of 60 on-duty firefighters a year suffered sudden cardiac deaths (44.7 percent of the on-duty deaths during that period)…The average number of deaths fell to 44 a year in the 1990s and to 37 in the past decade.
In spite of this reduction, sudden cardiac death still accounted for 42 percent of the on-duty deaths in the last five years. Overall, sudden cardiac death is the number one cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities in the U.S. and almost always accounts for the largest share of deaths in any given year.
 The firefighters who died in 2012 ranged in age from 17 to 79, with a median age of 49 years, researchers noted adding that sudden cardiac death accounted for a higher proportion of the deaths among older personnel as might be expected.

Statistics also showed that almost 60 percent of the firefighters over age 40 and all over 60, died of heart attacks or other cardiac events. And, the youngest person who died from a cardiac issue was just 24.

thanks Chris

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2012 Firefighter Fatality Statistics

US Fire Administration Releases 2012 Firefighter Fatality Statistics


USFA Press Office: (301) 447-1853

EMMITSBURG, Md. – The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announced [Monday] a provisional total of 83 on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2012, the same number of firefighter losses as in 2011.

View the provisional report »

The 83 fatalities were spread across 34 states. Pennsylvania and North Carolina experienced the highest number of fatalities with nine firefighter deaths each. New York had six firefighter deaths, including the most recent tragic shooting deaths of two firefighters in Webster. California and Texas, each with five firefighter deaths, were the only other states with five or more firefighter fatalities in 2012.

Heart attacks or stroke were responsible for the deaths of 41 firefighters (49%) in 2012. This single year total is a near average proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke over recent years. This nature of fatal injury has remained relatively constant, while others, on average, have been reduced during the past decade.

Eleven on-duty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, the same as 2011 and 2010.

The single cause of injury seeing more than a four-fold increase in firefighter deaths during 2012 was vehicle collisions (including aircraft), with 18 deaths.

These 2012 firefighter fatality statistics are provisional and will likely change somewhat as the USFA contacts state fire marshals to verify the names of firefighters reported to have died on duty during 2012. The final number of firefighter fatalities will be reported in USFA’s annual firefighter fatality report, expected to be available by July.

For additional information on firefighter fatalities, including the annual fatality reports from 1986 through 2011 and the Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study 1990–2000, please visit the USFA website.

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