In 2013, 65,880 firefighter injuries occurred in the line of duty, a decrease of 5.1 percent from the previous year.
Of those injuries, 29,760 (45.2 percent) occurred during fireground operations, with the leading causes reported as overexertion, strain (26.5 percent) and fall, slip, jump (22.7 percent), reports the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the latest edition of its U.S. Firefighter Injury Report on injuries sustained by firefighters on duty. The statistics were collected from fire departments responding to the 2013 NFPA survey for U.S. Fire Experience.
The Northeast had the highest fireground injury rate, with more injuries per 100 fires than other regions of the country.
The major types of injuries received during fireground operations were:
- strains, sprains, and muscular pain (55.3 percent);
- followed by wounds, cuts, bleeding, and bruising (13.8 percent);
- burns (5.1 percent);
- smoke or gas inhalation (5.0 percent).
An estimated 11,800 injuries occurred during other on-duty activities, including:
- 4,015 while responding to or returning from an incident;
- 7,770 during training activities;
- strains, sprains, and muscular pain accounted for 58.4 percent of all non-fireground injuries.
In addition to injuries, there were 7,100 exposures to infectious diseases and 17,400 exposures to hazardous conditions.
Source: National Fire Protection Association
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