The fire service

  • 1,129,250 firefighters protected the United States in 2012. 345,950 (31%) were career firefighters and 783,300 (69%) were volunteer firefighters.
  • Most career firefighters (72%) are in communities that protect 25,000 or more people.
  • Most volunteer firefighters (95%) are in departments that protect fewer than 25,000 and more than half are located in small, rural departments that protect fewer than 2,500 people.
  • There were 64 firefighter deaths in 2012. Stress, exertion, and other medical-related issues, which usually result in heart attacks or other sudden cardiac events, almost always account for the largest share of deaths in any given year. Of the 32 exertion- or medical-related fatalities in 2012, 27 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths, three strokes and one heat stroke.
  • There were 69,400 firefighter injuries in 2012.
  • 31,490 of all firefighter injuries in 2012 occurred during fireground operations. Other firefighter injuries by type of duty include: responding to, or returning from an incident (4,190); training (7,140); non-fire emergency (12,760); and other on-duty activities (13,820).
In This Section
  • Administration Needs assessment; Fire service performance measures; U.S. fire department profile; and more.
  • Fatalities and injuries Firefighter fatalities; firefighter injuries; patterns of fireground injuries; firefighter deaths related to training; and more.
  • Fire department calls Fire alarm activity; unwanted fire alarms; calls by type
  • Older versions of reports Older reports on firefighter fatalities and firefighter injuries.
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