NFPA releases 2012 US Firefighter Injuries Report

Nearly 70K injuries occurred in the line of duty

November 5, 2013 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released the latest edition of its U.S. Firefighter Injury Report, highlighting data on injuries sustained by firefighters on duty that was collected from fire departments responding to the 2012 National Fire Experience Survey.

Firefighter injuries have declined over the past three decades, hovering around roughly 100,000 from the early 1980’s through early 1990’s. In 2012, 69,400 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty.

  • Of those injuries, 31,490 (45.4 percent) occurred during fireground operations, with the leading causes reported as overexertion, straining (27.5 percent) and falling, slipping, and jumping (23.2 percent).
  • The Northeast also reported a higher number of fireground injuries per 100 fires than other regions of the country.

The major types of injuries received during fireground operations were:

  • strains, sprains, and muscular pain (55.2 percent)
  • followed by wounds, cuts, bleeding, and bruising (12.2 percent)
  • thermal stress (5.8 percent)
  • and burns (5.7 percent)

An estimated 13,820 occurred during other on-duty activities, including:

  • 4,190 while responding to or returning from an incident
  • 7,140 during training activities
  • and 12,760 occurring at non-fire emergency incidents
  • Strains, sprains, and muscular pain accounted for 58.5 percent of all non-fireground injuries

In addition to injuries, there were 8,150 exposures to infectious diseases, and 19,200 exposures to hazardous conditions.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at

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Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275