Report: NFPA's "Patterns of Firefighter Fireground Injuries"
Author: Michael J. Karter, Jr.
Issued: January 2012
Includes 2005-2009 annual average estimates of injuries by such factors as type of injury, type of activity at time of injury, cause of injury by level of severity, occupancy where injury occurred, time of day and ages of injured firefighters.
For the 2005-2009 period, there was an estimated annual average of 38,660 firefighter fireground injuries in the U.S. Of these, an average of 27,920 were minor, and 10,740 were moderate or severe.
The leading types of minor injuries were: strain or sprain accounting for an annual average of 6,880 injuries or (25%); pain only, accounting for 3,215 injuries (12%); thermal burns only, accounting for 2,885 injuries (10%); cut or laceration, accounting for 2,285 injuries (8%).
The leading types of moderate and severe injuries were: strains or sprain accounting for an annual average of 3,705 injuries a year, or 34%; thermal burn, accounting for 1,090 injuries (10%); pain only, accounting for 985 injuries (9%).
Activities related to extinguishing a fire accounted for half of the minor injuries (14,090 or 50%), and for half of the moderate and severe injuries (5,440 or 51%). The leading causes of minor injuries were exposure to something (6,500, or 23%), while for moderate and severe injuries the leading cause of injuries were fell, slipped, or tripped (3,000 or 28%).