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 97 firefighter deaths in 2013. Two high-fatality incidents account for most of the increase in the death toll over previous years-the19 deaths in the Yarnell Hill Fire and the 9 firefighters (along with and EMT) at the West TX fertilizer plant explosion. 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 medical0related fatalities in 2013, 29 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths. Rapid fire progress, including explosions, accounted for another 30 deaths.
  • 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).
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
1 Batterymarch Park, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 USA
Telephone: +1 617 770-3000 Fax: +1 617 770-0700