Overall statistics on line-of-duty firefighter fatalities in 2011, including non-incident-related deaths. Includes patterns, trends, career vs. volunteer comparisons, and brief narratives on selected incidents.
U.S. Fire Service Fatalities in Structure Fires, 1977-2009 (PDF, 151 KB), Rita F. Fahy, June 2010 (PDF, 151 KB)
Wildland Firefighter Fatalities, 1999-2008 (PDF, 96 KB), Rita F. Fahy July 2009
U.S. Firefighter Fatalities in Road Vehicle Crashes, 1998-2007 (PDF, 29 KB), Rita F. Fahy, July 2008
What’s Changed Over the Past 30 Years? (PDF, 78 KB), Rita F. Fahy, Paul R, LeBlanc and Joseph L. Molis, June 2007
U.S. Firefighter Fatalities Due to Sudden Cardiac Death, 1995-2004 (PDF, 65 KB), Rita F. Fahy, June 2005
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In 2011, a total of 61 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the U.S. This is another sharp drop from the 73 on-duty deaths in 2010 and 82 in 2009, and the lowest annual total since NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977. 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. More than half of the deaths resulted from overexertion, stress and related medical issues. Of the 32 deaths in this category, 31 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths (usually heart attacks) and one was due to a stroke.
NFPA's Ken Willette, division manager of NFPA's Public Fire Protection Division, provides a fire service perspective to the 2011 fire fighter fatality study, what's working, and what still needs to be done to reduce the number of work-related deaths.