The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced there were 85 on duty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2010, a 6 percent decrease from the 90 fatalities reported for 2009. The 85 fatalities were spread across 31 states. Illinois experienced the highest number of fatalities (9). In addition to Illinois, only New York (8), Ohio (8), Pennsylvania (7), and Kansas (5) had 5 or more firefighter fatalities. Download the report as a PDF HERE or text HERE.
Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines noted that “When evaluating the trend in on duty firefighter fatalities over more than three decades, the past two years have seemed to reflect a possible change in the firefighting culture of the United States where Everyone Goes Home, including all firefighters.” Gaines then added, “Working closely with our partners, USFA will continue every effort to be sure that when it comes to firefighter health and safety this downward trend in on duty firefighter deaths continues.” Heart attacks and strokes were responsible for the deaths of 51 firefighters (60%) in 2010, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (58%) in 2009. LINK
After a couple of days off I’m back to the firehouse in the AM. Just thinking about the statistics and how much harder the job is getting with all our cuts and closings. With numbers like this it’s understandable why everything we do anymore is focused on safety. Firefighting is still a dirty, stressful, physical and dangerous profession. Heart attacks continue to take their toll on our ranks. Some things never change.