EMMITSBURG, Md. — A majority of deaths occurred at on-scene fires, accounting for more than a quarter of fatalities, with many associated with overexertion and stress, many resulting in heart attack and cardiac arrest. This comes from a preliminary report released by the U.S. Fire Administration.
2012 LODDs: Why I'm optimistic and how we can improve
By Adam K. Thiel
I guess, like many firefighters, I'm a bit superstitious. As a result, I've been reluctant to call the reduction we've seen in firefighter fatalities over the past several years a trend per se.
Given the recent release of 2012 provisional data from the U.S. Fire Administration, however, it seems likely that the many efforts — across the fire and emergency services — to reduce firefighter fatalities have contributed to a sustainable reduction in the always-tragic loss of our brothers and sisters.
That's certainly cause for optimism and appreciation (for all the individuals and groups who've worked so hard on this problem). But I also feel strongly that we must keep up the pressure, on ourselves and others, to continue pushing down both firefighter deaths and injuries in 2013 and beyond.
Non-incident related injuries made up almost 40 percent of the types of incidents that killed the firefighters.
40 Volunteer, 48%
32 Career, 38%
4 Wildland Part-time, 4.8%
3 Wildland Contract, 3.6%
2 Paid-on-Call, 2.4%
Total deaths: 83
Trauma also accounted for a majority of the fatal injuries.
Most of the deaths occurred while firefighters were outside the apparatus and not manning a water line.
From previous years, 2012 saw a significant improvement in vehicle-related deaths.
Last year, 83 LODDs were also recorded, with again a majority of them being volunteers. Recent years have seen similar trends to those in the past, following a high casualty rate because of cardiac arrest and on-scene fire duty incidents.
N.C. and Pa. have ranked among the top states in last five years for the most LODDs.
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