An analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries

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Report: NFPA's "U.S. Volunteer Firefighter Injuries, 2012-2014" (PDF, 899 KB)
Author: Hylton J. G. Haynes
Issued: February 2016

An analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries comparing their experience to all firefighter injuries that occurred in local municipal fire departments in the United States 2012-2014.

Key findings

  • Volunteer firefighters (52%) were more likely to receive injuries at the fireground compared to all firefighters (41%).
  • Volunteer firefighters (14%) were less apt to be injured at non-fire emergencies compared to all firefighters (21%).  This was in part due to the fact that non-fire emergencies included EMS calls, EMS calls had a higher frequency of injury, and volunteer firefighters responded to fewer EMS calls compared to overall.   
  • Wound, cut, bleeding, bruise injuries; frostbite or heat stroke injuries were more likely to occur for volunteers across all types of duty when compared to all firefighters.
  • At the fireground, smoke or gas inhalation accounted for a higher percentage of injuries for volunteers (13%) than all firefighters (6%).

Firefighter Injuries by Type of Duty for all Firefighters and Volunteers