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.


  • 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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