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Fire Fighters spraying water on massive fire

The United States depends on about 1.1 million fire fighters to protect its citizens and property from fire. Approximately 336,000 are career fire fighters, 812,000 are volunteers, and 80 to 100 die in the line of duty each year.

To address this occupational hazard, the NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program conducts independent investigations of fire fighter line-of-duty deaths.


Flood Rescue and Cleanup

Fire departments should ensure that fire fighters who engage in water rescue operations are properly trained and equipped as outlined by NFPA 1670 Standard on Operations and Training for Technical Search and Rescue Incidents and that a personnel accountability system according to NFPA 1561 Standard on Emergency Services Incident Management System and Command Safety is in place. Review NIOSH’s fatality report F2015-08 for more recommendations on preventing injuries and deaths during flood rescue operations. Also, review the CDC/NIOSH Storm, Flood, and Hurricane Response recommendations when dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Fentanyl Exposure

Updated recommendations to protect emergency responders from Fentanyl exposure have been released by NIOSH.

Safety Tip

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Phase in a mandatory comprehensive wellness and fitness program for fire fighters.