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USFA Releases Annual Report on Firefighter Fatalities in the United States

USFA Releases Annual Report on Firefighter Fatalities in the United States

Tuesday, 04 October 2011

Heart attack remains leading cause of on-duty deaths

Heart attack remains leading cause of on-duty deaths

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recently released the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2010. This is the second consecutive year of substantially fewer firefighter deaths in the United States, with 87 on-duty deaths compared to an annual average of 112 fatalities during the previous six-year period of 2004-2009. However, the latest report shows that heart attack remains the leading cause of line-of-duty firefighter deaths.

Eighty-seven on-duty firefighters from 31 states lost their lives as the result of incidents that occurred in 2010, including 56 volunteers, 28 career firefighters, and three wildland agency firefighters. Illinois experienced the highest number of fatalities with nine firefighters killed; New York and Ohio had the next highest totals with eight firefighter deaths each.

The objective of Firefighter Fatalities in the United States is to identify all on-duty firefighter fatalities that occurred in the U.S. and its protectorates during the calendar year and present a summary of the circumstances surrounding each occurrence. The two leading causes of fatalities remained heart attack and vehicle accidents. The number of deaths due to heart attack increased in 2010 to 50 deaths, compared with 39 in 2009. However, vehicle crash fatalities decreased. Eleven firefighters died in 2010 as the result of vehicle crashes, down 31 percent from vehicle crashes in 2009 and almost 61 percent from 2008.

For 34 years, USFA has tracked the number of firefighter fatalities and conducted an annual analysis. Through the collection of information on the causes of firefighter deaths, the USFA is able to focus on specific problems and direct efforts toward finding solutions to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities in the future. This information is also used by many organizations to measure the effectiveness of their current efforts directed toward firefighter health and safety.

For additional information on firefighter fatalities, including the annual fatality reports from 1986-2010, 2011 firefighter fatality notices, and the report Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study 1990-2000, please visit the USFA's web site. Find resources and tools to adopt and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle at www.healthy-firefighter.org.

Source: United States Fire Administration

 

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