USFA Releases Annual Report on Firefighter Fatalities in U.S.

Eighty-seven on-duty firefighters from 31 states lost their lives as the result of 83 fatal incidents that occurred in 2010.

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) recently released the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2010. The report continues a series of annual studies by USFA of on-duty firefighter fatalities.

Eighty-seven on-duty firefighters from 31 states lost their lives as the result of 83 fatal incidents that occurred in 2010. This is the second consecutive year of substantially fewer firefighter deaths in the United States. During the previous six-year period of 2004-2009, the average number of annual on-duty firefighter deaths was 112. Illinois experienced the highest number of fatalities with nine firefighters killed; New York and Ohio had the next highest totals with eight firefighter deaths each.

An overview of the 87 firefighters that died while on duty in 2010:

  • The total breakdown included 56 volunteer, 28 career, and three wildland agency firefighters.
  • There were four firefighter fatality incidents where two firefighters were killed in each, claiming a total of eight firefighters.
  • Eleven firefighters died in duties associated with wildland fires. Along with 11 such deaths in 2007, it was the lowest number of annual firefighter deaths associated with wildland fires in a decade.
  • Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 48 firefighters.
  • Twenty-two firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
  • Sixteen firefighters died while responding to or returning from 15 emergency incidents. Nine of the firefighters killed while responding to incidents died from heart attacks (8) or stroke (1).
  • Heart attacks were the most frequent cause of death with 50 firefighter deaths.
  • Twelve firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.
  • Fifteen firefighters died after the conclusion of their on-duty activity.

For additional information on firefighter fatalities, including the annual fatality reports from 1986-2010, 2011 firefighter fatality notices, and the report Firefighter Fatality Retrospective Study 1990-2000, visit USFA's website.

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