Latest Report: 118 Firefighters Lost Lives Battling Fires in U.S.

August 19, 2008

During calendar year 2007, 118 firefighters lost their lives while on duty across the U.S. The deaths included 27 fatalities resulting from vehicle-related incidents.

The U.S. Fire Administration released its report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2007.

“One of the greatest challenges we face as a fire service is to stop the needless deaths of firefighters while in service to their communities,” United States Fire Administrator Greg Cade said. “Every day and across this nation, firefighters are responding to emergencies that threaten the lives of their residents. These same threats also threaten the lives of firefighters. Unfortunately, we all lost far too many firefighters in 2007.”

In addition to the 2007 overall findings, the study includes information on the hazards to firefighters presented by the lack of seatbelt use. In 2007, 27 firefighter fatalities resulted from vehicle-related incidents. In 19 of the 27 incidents where seatbelt status was known, 11 firefighters were confirmed as not wearing seatbelts at the time of the event.

An overview of the 118 firefighters that died while on duty in 2007:

68 volunteer firefighters and 50 career firefighters died while on duty.

There were 7 firefighter fatality incidents where 2 or more firefighters were killed, claiming a total of 21 firefighters’ lives.

11 firefighters were killed during activities involving brush, grass, or wildland firefighting, the lowest in over a decade.

Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 76 firefighters.

38 firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.

26 firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents.

11 firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.

15 firefighters died after the conclusion of their on-duty activity.

Heart attacks were the most frequent cause of death for 2007, with 52 firefighter deaths.

Source: USFA

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