September 27, 2011
Emmitsburg, MD – The United States Fire Administration (USFA) today released the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2010 (PDF, 2.5 Mb). The report continues a series of annual studies by the USFA of onduty firefighter fatalities. The USFA is the single public agency source of information for all onduty firefighter fatalities in the United States each year.
Eighty-seven onduty firefighters from 31 states lost their lives as the result of 83 fatal incidents that occurred in 2010. This is the second consecutive year of substantially fewer firefighter deaths in the United States. During the previous six-year period of 2004-2009, the average number of annual onduty firefighter deaths was 112. Illinois experienced the highest number of fatalities with nine firefighters killed; New York and Ohio had the next highest totals with eight firefighter deaths each.
An overview of the 87 firefighters that died while on duty in 2010:
- The total breakdown included 56 volunteer, 28 career, and 3 wildland agency firefighters.
- There were 4 firefighter fatality incidents where 2 firefighters were killed in each, claiming a total of 8 firefighters.
- 11 firefighters died in duties associated with wildland fires. Along with 11 such deaths in 2007, it was the lowest number of annual firefighter deaths associated with wildland fires in a decade.
- Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 48 firefighters.
- 22 firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
- 16 firefighters died while responding to or returning from 15 emergency incidents. 9 of the firefighters killed while responding to incidents died from heart attacks (8) or stroke (1).
- Heart attacks were the most frequent cause of death with 50 firefighter deaths.
- 12 firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.
- 15 firefighters died after the conclusion of their onduty activity.
The unique and specific objective of Firefighter Fatalities in the United States is to identify all onduty firefighter fatalities that occurred in the United States and its protectorates during the calendar year and to present in summary narrative form the circumstances surrounding each occurrence.
For 34 years, USFA has tracked the number of firefighter fatalities and conducted an annual analysis. Through the collection of information on the causes of firefighter deaths, the USFA is able to focus on specific problems and direct efforts toward finding solutions to reduce the number of firefighter fatalities in the future. This information is also used by many organizations to measure the effectiveness of their current efforts directed toward firefighter health and safety.
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation also maintains a list of firefighters who die in the line-of-duty and are honored during the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend held each October in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Visit www.FireHero.org for more information about the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and their assistance to the families of the firefighters lost in 2010 and beyond.