Today the NFPA released its annual “U.S. Firefighter Fatalities in the United States” report, (link below) which showed fewer than 50 U.S. Firefighter fatalities while on duty in 2019, reflecting the lowest number of Firefighter deaths reported since NFPA began conducting this study in 1977. In addition, there were no multiple-fatality incidents, which also represents a first for the report. Other important achievements include the lowest number of deaths of volunteer firefighters, deaths in road vehicle crashes, and cardiac deaths.
Overall, 48 Firefighters died while on-duty in the U.S. in 2019, a sharp drop from recent years, where deaths average 65 per year. Of the 48 fatalities, 25 were volunteer Firefighters, 20 were career Firefighters, and one each was an employee of a state land management agency, an employee of a federal land management agency and a civilian employee of the military.
Overexertion, stress, and medical issues accounted for by far the largest share of Firefighter deaths, as has been the case in past years. Of the 26 deaths in this category, 22 were classified as sudden cardiac deaths (usually heart attacks), two were due to strokes, one to heat stroke and one death was by suicide. The 22 sudden cardiac deaths with onset while the victim was on-duty mark the fourth consecutive year that the toll has been below 30, but they still account for the largest share of on-duty deaths. Cardiac-related events accounted for 44 percent of the on-duty deaths over the past 10 years.
In 2019, 4 Firefighters died in vehicle crashes, 4 were struck by vehicles and 1 Firefighter fell from a moving vehicle. In the past, crashes of road vehicles fairly consistently accounted for the second largest share of the on-duty Firefighter deaths, but the number has dropped in recent years, with fewer than 5 deaths in 3 of the last 10 years. Firefighter deaths in road vehicle crashes, which accounted for three of the four crash deaths in 2019, have ranged over the years from a high of 25 to this year’s low of 3.
A FREE WEBINAR ON THE 2019 FIREFIGHTER FATALITIES
On July 14 at 1 pm EDT, the NFPA will be hosting a free webinar to review this year’s report findings. Attendance is limited, so if you’re interested, get crackin’ before space is no longer available.
SIGN UP HERE: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_jO9_abfkTuqu__45B7uq0w
HERE IS THE NEW NFPA REPORT ON 2019 FIREFIGHTER DEATHS:
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE NFPA 2019 FIREFIGHTER FATALITY STATS: