USFA Report: Heart Attack Remains Leading Cause of Firefighter Deaths

Friday, 29 August 2008

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has released its annual report on firefighter fatalities. Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2007 shows that last year heart attack remained the leading cause of line-of-duty firefighter death.

Of the 118 firefighters who died while on duty in 2007, 52 died from heart attack. Two others died from stroke while one death was the result of a cardiac condition that was not classified as a heart attack. In total, 46 percent of firefighter deaths last year are classified as stress/overexertion, which includes all cardiac and cerebrovascular causes. The second leading cause of death, vehicle collision, claimed 27 lives.

These tragic statistics re-emphasizes the importance of ensuring the nation’s first responders adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle and keep their hearts strong. The National Volunteer Fire Council’s Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program works to reverse this alarming trend by creating awareness among first responders of their risk of heart attack as well as providing the tools these first responders need to get and stay healthy. Learn what you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a statistic at

“The NVFC mourns all firefighters and emergency personnel who die in the line of duty,” said Maggie Wilson, Director of Health and Safety. “The fact that 55 firefighters died last year due to a cardiac or cerebrovascular cause confirms that we still have a lot of work ahead of us. The Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program will continue to do everything possible to educate first responders on the reasons they need to be healthy and to provide the tools and resources to make that possible.”

USFA is the single public agency source of information for all on-duty firefighter fatalities in the U.S. each year. Read the full report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2007 and access reports from previous years.



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