Annual report on firefighter fatalities in the United States

The objective of the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) study “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States” is to identify and analyze all on-duty firefighter fatalities to increase understanding of their causes and how they can be prevented. The study is intended to help identify approaches that could reduce the number of deaths in future years.

2016 annual report

Firefighter fatalities in the United States in 2016

Eighty-nine firefighters (56 volunteer, 23 career and 10 wildland agency) died while on duty in 2016.

  • Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 36 firefighters.
  • Seventeen firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
  • Ten firefighters died while responding to emergency incidents.
  • Nineteen firefighters died as the result of vehicle crashes.
  • Heart attacks were the most frequent nature of fatal injury with 40 firefighter deaths.
  • Nine firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.

Download “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2016”

PDF 8.2 MB

1986-2015 annual firefighter fatality reports

See also: Fire-Related Firefighter Injuries Reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (2012–2014) August 2016, PDF 806 KB

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More resources on firefighter fatalities

Firefighter Autopsy Protocol  PDF 2.6 MB
This protocol helps with the analysis of causes related to firefighter deaths, which can aid in the development of improved firefighter health and safety equipment, procedures and standards. It also helps determine eligibility for death benefits under the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program.

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
The Foundation provides peer counseling, training and technical assistance for families and coworkers of firefighters who were killed in the line of duty. It also creates publications and reference materials that can be used to build public awareness for the many contributions made by members of the fire service.

Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program
The Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program provides benefits to survivors of fallen firefighters, Emergency Medical Services members and other first responders. The Program also provides disability benefits for public safety officers who are permanently disabled following an injury while in the line of duty.