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.

2017 annual report

Firefighter fatalities in the United States in 2017

Eighty-seven firefighters (48 volunteer, 33 career and 6 wildland agency) died while on duty in 2017.

  • Fifty firefighters died from heart attacks.
  • Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 40 firefighters.
  • Eighteen firefighters died after the conclusion of their on-duty activities.
  • Seventeen firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
  • Twelve firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.
  • Twelve firefighters died during emergency duties not related to fire.
  • Eleven firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents.

Download “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2017”

PDF 1.6 MB

1986-2016 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.