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Fatalities among volunteer and career firefighters - United States, 1994-2004.
Proudfoot-S; Hales-T; Struttmann-TW; Guglielmo-C; Ridenour-ML; Noe-RS
MMWR 2006 Apr; 55(16):453-455
Approximately 800,000 firefighters in the United States are volunteer firefighters and 300,000 are career firefighters. Volunteer firefighters primarily serve communities with fewer than 25,000 inhabitants, whereas most career firefighters serve communities of more than 25,000 persons. To characterize fatalities among volunteer and career firefighters, CDC analyzed data from the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). This report summarizes the results of that analysis and, to illustrate the most common types of volunteer and career firefighter fatalities, describes two cases investigated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Firefighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program. Fifty-three percent [610 of 1,141 (excludes the 343 career firefighters who died at the World Trade Center)] of U.S. firefighters who died while on duty during 1994-2004 were volunteers, and 32% (368) were career firefighters. The remaining 15% (163) of deaths were among other firefighters (e.g., wildland, paid on-call, and part-time paid firefighters). Among volunteer firefighters, sudden cardiac death (e.g., from myocardial infarction or arrhythmia) and motor vehicle (MV) crashes during emergency response were the leading causes of fatality. Among career firefighters, sudden cardiac death and asphyxiation were leading causes of death. Adoption and enforcement of existing fire-service recommendations regarding fitness standards, mandatory medical evaluations with appropriate work restrictions, and emergency vehicle response protocols are needed to prevent these fatalities among firefighters.
Fire-fighters; Mortality-data; Occupational-hazards; Cardiovascular-disease; Occupational-accidents; Information-retrieval-systems; Motor-vehicles; Traumatic-injuries; Drivers; Surveillance-programs; Smoke-inhalation
Issue of Publication
Research Tools and Approaches: Intervention Effectiveness Research
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
WV; GA; OH
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division