Preliminary estimates indicate that heart attacks and strokes were responsible for the deaths of 50 firefighters (43.8%) in 2008. This shows a decrease from 54 of the 118 (45.7%) firefighters in 2007.
In 2008, 26 on-duty firefighters died in association with wildland fires.
This loss is more than double the 11 wildland firefighter fatalities in 2007.
The 2008 toll is also above the annual average of 21 wildland fire-associated fatalities over the past 10 years, 1999-2008.
For 2008, 64.9% of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties.
=Twenty-nine firefighters died in 2008 as the result of vehicle crashes.
=Fourteen of these deaths involved aircraft crashes.
=Fifteen firefighters died in motor vehicle crashes.
=Six firefighters were killed in crashes involving their personal vehicles and three died in water tender (tanker) crashes. These two vehicle types have historically been most often involved in crashes that take the lives of firefighters.
Speed and a lack of seat belt use historically contribute to these incidents…..
More details here: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/fireservice/fatalities/