A special presentation today at NFPA’s Conference & Expo looked the results of the new NFPA report on on-duty firefighter fatalities. The new report shows a total of 64 on-duty firefighter deaths in the United States in 2012, marking the second consecutive year that the total has been below 65 deaths. For the past four years, the annual total has been well below 100, dropping the annual average over the past 10 years to 88 deaths.
Read NFPA’s “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States 2012” report, by Dr. Fahy, Paul LeBlanc and Joseph Molis.
“NFPA has been tracking this data since 1977 and it is certainly good news that the number of firefighter deaths has continued to decrease over the years,” said Dr. Rita Fahy, NFPA’s manager of fire databases and systems. “We are grateful for the sacrifices of these brave individuals and are hopeful that with expanded use of codes and standards and other safety initiatives the downward trend in the number of firefighters dying on duty will continue.”
In today's presentation, Dr. Fahy defined "on-duty" as including situations where firefighters are at the scene of alarms, en route responding to or returning from alarms, during training, maintenance, public education, office assignments, station duty, inspection or investigation activities, and other assignments where the firefighter was on official fire department business.
She also defined “fatality” as any injury that was incurred while on duty and proves fatal, and any illness that was incurred as a result of actions while on duty and proves fatal.
Dr. Fahy said that in 2012, 33% of the recorded firefighter on-duty fatalities occurred on the fireground, 30% while responding to or returning from an alarm, and 13% during training.