Firefighter fatalities in the United States

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"Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2012" report (PDF, 151 KB)

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Report: NFPA's "Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2012"
Rita F. Fahy, Paul R. LeBlanc and Joseph L. Molis
Issued: June 2013

Overall statistics on line-of-duty firefighter fatalities in 2012, including non-incident-related deaths. Includes patterns, trends, career vs. volunteer comparisons, and brief narratives on selected incidents. 

Tragedy in Arizona

June 30, 2013 marked the deadliest day for firefighters since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with the death of 19 firefighters near Prescott, AZ. "To the families of these brave individuals in Arizona, their friends, their community and their fellow firefighters across the globe who devote their lives to saving others from fire, we offer our heartfelt condolences and share in their grief," said NFPA President Jim Shannon. See additional statistics and research, NFPA Journal® articles on wildfire and online information relating to wildfire and Fire Adapted Communities.


In 2012, a total of 64 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the United States. For the past four years, the annual total has been well below 100, dropping the annual average over the past 10 years to 88 deaths. This is the second consecutive year that the total has been below 65 deaths.

Of the 64 firefighters who died while on duty in 2012, 30 were volunteer firefighters (lowest number ever), 23 were career firefighters (second lowest number ever), four were members of the military, three were federal contractors, two were employees of federal land management agencies and two were prison inmates.

Analyses in this report examine the types of duty associated with firefighter deaths, the cause and nature of fatal injuries to firefighters, and the ages of the firefighters who died. They highlight deaths in intentionally-set fires and in motor vehicle-related incidents. The study also presents summaries of individual incidents that illustrate important concerns in firefighter safety.


Video: NFPA's Dr. Rita Fahy talks about the findings of the 2012 firefighter fatality report.

on duty firefighter deaths 1977 to 2012

On 9/11/2001, 343 employees of the FDNY were killed: 340 firefighters, two paramedics and a chaplain. For the purposes of its annual Firefighter Fatality report, NFPA contains the count of only firefighters.

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