Today's News

Annual Firefighter Fatality Report reveals sharp drop in number of fatalities in 2009 (6/9)

June 9, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

For the first time in three years, the number of on-the-job firefighter deaths in the U.S. has dropped below 100, according to a press release from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA’s annual Firefighter Fatality Report, released recently at the NFPA Conference & Expo, shows a sharp drop in the number of fatalities in 2009. Eighty-two firefighters were killed in the line of duty last year, substantially fewer than the 10-year average of 98 and down even more from the 105 killed in 2008. This is the lowest annual total since NFPA recorded 79 deaths in 1993 and the third lowest total since NFPA began this study in 1977.

“While a drop over one year certainly isn’t enough to show a trend, it is definitely encouraging to see the number of firefighter fatalities drop well below that 10-year average,” said Rita Fahy, NFPA’s manager of fire databases and systems. “We are hopeful that we will continue to see fewer and fewer firefighter fatalities over the next 10 years.”

Each year, NFPA collects data on all firefighter fatalities in the U.S. that resulted from injuries or illnesses that occurred while the victims were on-duty. The report is a compelling picture of the risks to the nation’s firefighters.

As in most years, the number one cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities was sudden cardiac death. While the number of such deaths has been trending downwards since the late 1970s, sudden cardiac death still accounted for 39 percent of the on-duty deaths in the last five years, and 42 percent in 2009 alone, underscoring the need for wellness-fitness programs and health screenings for firefighters across the nation.

Other key findings in the report include:
  • There were six deaths at five intentionally-set fires in 2009. From 2000 through 2009, 60 firefighters (6.1 percent of all on-duty deaths) died in connection with intentionally-set fires. The number of these deaths annually has been dropping since 1985.
  • There were nine deaths in crashes of road vehicles in 2009, a significant decline in the category that regularly accounts for the second largest share of deaths. This is the lowest total since 1983.
  • Over the past 10 years, 29 firefighter deaths have resulted from false calls, including malicious false alarms and alarm malfunctions.
  • Of the 82 firefighters who died while on duty, 41 were volunteer firefighters, 31 were career firefighters, while the remaining were employees or contractors of federal and local land management agencies or private fire safety crews.
The NFPA report examines the types of duties associated with firefighter deaths, the cause and nature of fatal injuries to firefighters and the ages of the firefighters who died. The report highlights deaths in intentionally-set fires and in motor vehicle-related incidents. The study also presents summaries of individual incidents that illustrate important problems or concerns in firefighter safety. The full report is available on NFPA’s website at http://www.nfpa.org/assets/files/PDF/osfff.pdf.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSEâ??s Safety 2014 Review

A gallery of photos from the sprawling Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 8-11. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

6/26/14 2:00 pm EDT

Realizing ROI from Your Gas Detection Program

This presentation will cover why a safe workplace equates to good business, why keeping workers truly safe from hazardous gases requires a complete gas detection program, and how your investment can ensure an ROI to your overall business.

ISHN Magazine

ISHN0714_cover.jpg

2014 July

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out the top training companies and find out who the winners of the ISHN/ASSE Safety 2014 awards are.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - May 2014

ISHN0514FDO_cover.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEMAY 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.