An analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries

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Report: NFPA's "U.S. Volunteer Firefighter Injuries, 2011-2013" (PDF, 899 KB)
Author: Hylton J. G. Haynes
Issued: February 2015

An analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries comparing their experience to all firefighter injuries.

Executive Summary

Volunteer firefighters predominately protect communities with 10,000 population or less. On average during the period 2011 to 2013 injuries by type of duty, volunteers (52.3%) were more likely to receive injuries at the fireground than all firefighters combined (42.4%), and volunteers (12.5%) were less apt to be injured at non-fire emergencies than for all firefighters (20.7%). The leading types of injuries on the fireground were “strain, sprains, muscular pain”, accounting for 1,875 injuries; “wound, cut, bleeding, bruise”, accounting for 1,345 injuries; “frostbite and heat stroke”, accounting for 945 injuries; and smoke or gas inhalation, accounting for 680 injuries. For all types of duty, “wound, cut, bleeding, bruise” and “strain, sprains, muscular pain” accounted for the largest shares of injuries. Volunteer firefighter injuries identified in this report may be preventable through training, equipment and safety programs/standard operating guidelines.
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