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EMMITSBURG, MD - The United States Fire Administration (USFA) announced today there were 85 onduty 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.
Acting U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines noted that "When evaluating the trend in onduty 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 onduty 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.
Nine onduty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, about half the number that died in association with wildland fires in 2009 and a
third of the 26 such fatalities in 2008.
Forty-eight percent of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties.
Eleven firefighters died in 2010 as the result of vehicle crashes, down substantially from 16 deaths in 2009, and for the first time since 1999,
none the of the deaths involved aircraft. Four firefighters in 2010 died in accidents involving firefighters responding in personal vehicles. Seven firefighter deaths involved fire department apparatus, one of which was a double firefighter fatality incident.
These 2010 firefighter fatality statistics are provisional and may change as the USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify the names of firefighters reported to have died onduty during 2010. The
final number of firefighter fatalities will be reported in USFA’s
annual firefighter fatality report, expected to be available by July.