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USFA report highlights lack of seat belt use in ’07

By FireRescue 1 Staff

A lack of seat belt use accounted for a number of vehicle-related LODDs last year, according to the USFA.

The Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2007 report reveals that in 19 of the 27 incidents where seat belt status was known, 11 firefighters were confirmed as not wearing seat belts at the time of the incident.

During calendar year 2007, a total of 118 firefighters lost their lives while on duty across the United States, according to the report.

“One of the greatest challenges we face as a fire service is to stop the needless deaths of firefighters while in service to their communities,” Fire Administrator Greg Cade said.

Heart attacks were again the most frequent cause of on-duty firefighters deaths, while wildland-related firefighting fatalities dropped to the lowest number in more than a decade.

A breakdown of the report reveals:

  • 68 volunteer firefighters and 50 career firefighters died while on duty.
  • There were 7 firefighter fatality incidents where 2 or more firefighters were killed, claiming a total of 21 firefighters’ lives.
  • 11 firefighters were killed during activities involving brush, grass, or wildland firefighting, the lowest in over a decade.
  • Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 76 firefighters.
  • 38 firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
  • 26 firefighters died while responding to or returning from emergency incidents.
  • 11 firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.
  • 15 firefighters died after the conclusion of their on-duty activity.
  • Heart attacks were the most frequent cause of death for 2007, with 52 firefighter deaths.

Related Resource:
Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2007 report (PDF)