The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) reported a total of 83 on-duty firefighter fatalities as a result of incidents that occurred in 2012, the same number of firefighter losses as in 2011.
The 83 fatalities were spread across 34 states. Pennsylvania and North Carolina experienced the highest number of fatalities with nine firefighter deaths each. New York had six firefighter deaths, including the most recent tragic shooting deaths of two firefighters in Webster. California and Texas, each with five firefighter deaths, were the only other states with five or more firefighter fatalities in 2012.
Heart attacks or stroke were responsible for the deaths of 41 firefighters (49 percent) in 2012. This single year total is a near average proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke over recent years. The nature of fatal injury has remained relatively constant, while others, on average, have been reduced during the past decade.
Eleven on-duty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, the same as 2011 and 2010.
The single cause of injury seeing more than a four-fold increase in firefighter deaths during 2012 was vehicle collisions (including aircraft), with 18 deaths.
These 2012 firefighter fatality statistics are provisional and will likely change somewhat as the USFA contacts state fire marshals to verify the names of firefighters reported to have died on duty during 2012. The final number of firefighter fatalities will be reported in USFA’s annual firefighter fatality report, expected to be available by July.
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