There is little dispute that firefighters have one of the most dangerous professions in all of America. From battling towering wildfires and intense house fires to helping rescue people trapped in car accidents along busy expressways, these heroic men and women are susceptible to all kinds of serious and even fatal work injuries.
In fact, the United States Fire Administration (USFA) -- the agency in charge of "foster[ing] a solid foundation for ... fire and emergency services stakeholders in prevention, preparedness, and response -- recently released its annual report on the number of firefighter fatalities in the U.S.
Here, the report shows that 81 firefighters were killed in the line of duty in 2011, a decrease of roughly seven percent from 2010, in which there were 87 fatal work injuries.
"In 2004 at the initial Life Safety Summit, a number of fire service leaders did not believe we would complete a calendar year with less than 100 firefighter on-duty deaths," said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell. "We broke through that perceived barrier in 2009, 2010, and now in 2011. We salute and congratulate our fire service family and pledge to continue working closely with the entire fire service community and its partners ..."
According to the report, the states with the highest percentage of firefighter fatalities in 2011 were:
- Texas (7)
- North Carolina (6)
- California (4)
- Florida (4)
- Indiana (4)
- Mississippi (4)
- New York (4)
The leading causes of firefighter fatalities in 2011 were as follows:
- Heart attacks (48)
- Trauma (12)
- Asphyxiation (6)
- Burns (4)
The average age of firefighters killed in the line of duty was determined to be:
- Age 41-50 (26)
- Age 51-60 (26)
- Age 31-40 (12)
Stay tuned for further developments in the area of workers' compensation defense law ...
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
EHS Today, "On-Duty Firefighter Fatalities Down from 2010: USFA" Jan. 4, 2012