Courtesy of the U.S. Fire Administration
The U.S. Fire Administration’s annual report on firefighter fatalities in the United States is now available, as prepared by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Fire Administration National Fire Data Center and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
87 firefighters (48 volunteer, 33 career and 6 wildland agency) died while on duty.
50 firefighters died from heart attacks.
40 firefighters died from activities related to an emergency incident.
17 firefighters died from activities at a fire scene.
12 firefighters died while training.
12 firefighters died during non-fire emergency duties.
11 firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents.
Who is a firefighter?
For the purpose of the study, the term “firefighter” covers all members of organized fire departments with assigned fire suppression duties in all 50 states; the District of Columbia; and the territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam.
It includes career and volunteer firefighters; full-time public safety officers acting as firefighters; fire police; state, territory and federal government fire service personnel, including wildland firefighters; and privately employed firefighters, including employees of contract fire departments and trained members of industrial fire brigades, whether full-time or part-time.
It also includes contract personnel working as firefighters, or assigned to work in direct support of fire service organizations (e.g., air-tanker crews).
Under this definition, the study includes not only local and municipal firefighters, but also seasonal and full-time employees of the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and state wildland agencies.
The definition also includes prison inmates serving on firefighting crews; firefighters employed by other governmental agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Energy; military personnel performing assigned fire suppression activities; and civilian firefighters working at military installations.
For 41 years, the U.S. Fire Administration (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 to measure the effectiveness of current programs directed toward firefighter health and safety.
Several programs have been funded by the USFA in response to this annual report.
For example, the USFA has sponsored significant work in the areas of general emergency vehicle operations safety, fire department tanker/tender operations safety, firefighter incident scene rehabilitation, and roadside incident safety.
The data developed for this report are also widely used in other firefighter fatality prevention efforts. 2 Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2017.
In addition to performing this analysis, the USFA, working in partnership with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF), develops a list of all on-duty firefighter fatalities and associated documentation each year.
If certain criteria are met, the fallen firefighter’s next of kin, as well as members of the individual’s fire department, are invited to the annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service.
The service is held at the National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland, during Fire Prevention Week in October of each year.
(Learn More. Courtesy of FEMA and YouTube. Posted on on Feb 21, 2018.)
The 37th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend was held Oct. 6 and 7, 2018.
To view the complete Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2017 Report, please visit here.
To Download Reports from Previous Years, visit here.
(Please take a look at some of the events from the 2018 National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Memorial Weekend through the eyes of videographer Greg Guise. Courtesy of the NFFFTV and YouTube. Posted on Oct 10, 2018.)
Additional information regarding the memorial service can be found at https://www.firehero.org, or by calling the NFFF at 301-447-1365.
Other resources and information regarding firefighter fatalities, including current fatality notices, the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial database, and links to the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program, can be found at http://apps.usfa.fema.gov/firefighter-fatalities/.
(National Fire Academy students and National Emergency Training Center staff come together to honor and remember those we lost on Sept. 11, 2001.Courtesy of the NFFFTV and YouTube. Posted on Sep 21, 2018.)