NFPA announces 68,085 U.S. firefighter injuries in latest report, reflecting third lowest injury rate since 1981

December 15, 2016 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released the latest edition of its “U.S. Firefighter Injuries” report, which highlights data on injuries sustained by firefighters on duty in 2015. The statistics were collected from fire departments responding to NFPA’s annual U.S. Fire Experience survey.

There were 68,085 U.S. firefighter injuries in 2015. While this number reflects a 7.5 percent increase over 2014, it represents the third lowest injury rate since 1981, when the association began analyzing firefighter injury data.

Of those injuries, 29,130 (42.8 percent) occurred during fireground operations, with the leading causes reported as falls, slips and jumps (27.2 percent) and overexertion and strain (27.2 percent).

The major types of injuries received during fireground operations were:

  • strains, sprains and muscular pains (52.7 percent)
  • wounds, cuts, bleeding and bruising (13.6 percent)
  • burns (5.2 percent)
  • smoke or gas inhalation (4.4 percent)

There were also 8,350 documented exposures to infectious diseases (e.g., hepatitis, meningitis, and HIV) in 2015, along with an estimated 27,250 documented exposures to hazardous conditions (e.g., asbestos, chemicals, fumes, and radioactive materials).

An estimated 16,600 collisions occurred involving fire department emergency vehicles responding to or returning from incidents. This represents the highest number of collisions since NFPA began collecting this particular data in 1990.

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resource, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275