A new report, by NFPA's Michael J. Karter, Jr., presents an analysis of volunteer firefighter injuries between 2009 and 2011. The report was undertaken to compare the experience of volunteer firefighters to all firefighter injuries. Departments that protect communities of less than 10,000 population are comprised mostly of volunteer firefighters.
Among the findings of the report:
- For injuries by type of duty, volunteers (56.6%) were more likely to receive injuries at the fireground than all firefighters combined (43.3%), and volunteers (12.1%) were less apt to be injured at nonfire emergencies than for all firefighters (19.9%). This is due to the fact that many smaller departments do not provide EMS service, so nonfire emergencies are a smaller component of their overall incidents, while fires are a larger component.
- For injuries at the fireground, the leading types of injuries were strain, sprains, muscular pain, accounting for 2,145 injuries; wound, cut, bleeding, bruise, accounting for 1,450 injuries; frostbite, heat stroke, accounting for 1,200 injuries; and smoke or gas inhalation, accounting for 710 injuries. For all types of duty, wound, cut, bleeding, bruise and strain, sprains, muscular pain accounted for the largest shares of injuries.