Annual report on firefighter fatalities in the United States

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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.

2019 annual report

Firefighter fatalities in the United States in 2019

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Data visualization: Firefighter fatality causes

causes of firefighter fatalities in 2019

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Table: Firefighter fatality causes open + close -

CauseFatalities
Stress or overexertion36
Vehicle crashes6
Caught or trapped5
Struck by object5
Structure collapse2
Exposure2
Fall2
Other2
Assault1
Contact with1

On-duty firefighter deaths in 2019

34 Volunteer
25 Career
3 Wildland
62Firefighters died while on duty.
Lowest total of firefighter fatalities since the USFA began this annual study.
37Firefighters died from activities related to an emergency incident.
33Firefighters died from heart attacks.
18Firefighters died from activities at a fire scene.
12Firefighters died from activities at a non-fire scene.
8Firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents.
5Firefighters died while participating in training activities.

Table: On-duty firefighter fatalities (2010-2019) open + close -

YearNumber of Firefighter Fatalities
201090
201187
201285
2013109
201497
201591
201692
201788
201884
201962
10-Year Trend (%)-17.7%

Table: Firefighter fatalities by age (2019) open + close -

AgeNumber of Firefighter Fatalities
Under 210
21 to 253
26 to 303
31 to 353
36 to 408
41 to 457
46 to 5011
51 to 608
61 and over19

1986-2018 annual firefighter fatality reports

See also: Fire-Related Firefighter Injuries Reported to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (2015–2017) July 2019

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More resources on firefighter fatalities

Firefighter Autopsy Protocol
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.