USFA documents 83 on-duty firefighter fatalities in 2012

Almost half of those deaths were of volunteer firefighters with 32 being career. Wildland and paid-on-call firefighters accounted for the rest.


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.

Non-incident related injuries made up almost 40 percent of the types of incidents that killed the firefighters.

2012:

  • 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.

About the author

Firefighting 101 articles are intended to educate a non-fire service audience about the fire service profession. These articles are written by FireRescue1 staff members and FireRescue1 contributors, and cover a wide range of topics from how to join a fire academy to how to pass the exams required to be a firefighter. If there's a topic you'd like to see covered, or are interested in writing for Firefighting 101, email editor@firerescue1.com.

  1. Tags
  2. Volunteer
  3. Fire-EMS

Recommended Safety

Join the discussion

logo for print