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Trends in On-Duty Firefighter Deaths and Injuries Focusing on Career Firefighters Rita F. Fahy National Fire Protection Association Urban Fire Forum September.

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Presentation on theme: "Trends in On-Duty Firefighter Deaths and Injuries Focusing on Career Firefighters Rita F. Fahy National Fire Protection Association Urban Fire Forum September."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trends in On-Duty Firefighter Deaths and Injuries Focusing on Career Firefighters Rita F. Fahy National Fire Protection Association Urban Fire Forum September 6, 2014

2 Presentation Overview  Review data sources for the two studies  Overview of injury statistics  Brief overview of the 2013 Firefighter Fatality Study  Trends in career firefighter fatalities

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4 Data Sources Firefighter injury data: Aggregate data collected as part of our annual fire experience survey Based on national estimates from a stratified random sample of fire departments Career vs. volunteer status of victims not reported Firefighter fatality data: Firefighter fatality database is a ‘census’

5 Firefighter Injury Study  Firefighter exposures - to infectious diseases - to hazardous conditions  Matrix reporting - Nature of Injury by Type of Duty  Fire Ground injuries by Cause of Injury  Fire Department Vehicle Crashes

6 Firefighter Injuries – 2012 Number of Injuries 69,400

7 Overall Results  69,400 firefighter injuries occurred on duty in 2012 – the lowest since study began in  There were 8,150 exposures to infectious diseases (e.g., hepatitis, meningitis, HIV, others) in 2012 (0.3 exposures per 1,000 emergency medical runs by fire departments in 2012).  There were 19,200 exposures to hazardous conditions (e.g., asbestos, radioactive materials, chemicals, fumes, other) in 2012 (18.2 exposures per 1,000 hazardous condition runs in 2012).  An estimated 14,350 firefighter injuries resulted in lost time in 2012 (20.6% of all injuries).

8 Firefighter Injuries by Type of Duty 31,490

9 Fire Department Calls Year Total Fires Medical False alr Mut aid HazMat HazCn Other ,890,0002,271,5006,437,500992,500441,000171,500318,0001,258, ,556,5002,041,5008,176,0001,578,500494,000221,000428,5001,617, ,503,0001,975,0009,841,5001,816,500688,000285,000536,5002,360, ,965,0001,734,50012,331,0002,157,500838,500381,500605,0002,917, ,470,0001,642,50015,062,5002,119,5001,159,500388,500659,0003,438, ,205,0001,331,50018,522,0002,187,0001,189,500402,000660,0003,913, ,098,0001,389,50019,803,0002,383,0001,252,000379,000720,0004,171, ,854,0001,375,00021,705,5002,238,0001,326,500360,000694,0004,155,000 Change from 1986 More than doubled Down 2/5 More than tripled More than doubledTripled Doubled More than doubled More than tripled

10 U.S. Fire Department Calls

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12 YearInjuriesPer 1K firesInjuries Per 1K Incidents ,080 45,500 43,065 41,395 37,860 38,045 36,880 41,950 44,210 38,340 36,595 32,205 32,675 30,505 31, ,960 13,565 13,660 14,140 15,095 14,550 13,150 12,250 13,090 15,435 15,745 15,455 13,355 14,905 12, Firefighter Injuries and Injury Rates At the Fireground At Non-Fire Emergencies

13 Firefighter Injuries at the Fire Ground and at Non-Fire Emergencies Injuries Injuries per 1K Inc Non-Fire Emergency Fire Ground

14 Fire Ground Injuries by Nature of Injury

15 Population Protected Average Number of Fires Average Number of Fire Ground Injuries Fire Ground Injuries per 100 Fires Fire Ground Injuries per 100 FFs 1,000,000 or more* 500, , , , , ,999 50, ,999 25, ,999 10, ,999 5, ,999 2, ,999 Under 2,500 4, , , Average Number of Fires, Fire Ground Injuries and Injury Rates by Population Protected * Excludes New York City

16 Year CollisionsFF InjuriesCollisions FF Injuries ,650 15,450 15,300 14,900 15,550 15,900 15,420 15,885 16,020 14,650 14,950 15,100 14,200 14,850 14,300 1, , ,120 1, ,350 1,080 1,160 1,325 1, ,150 1,080 1, , , Vehicle Crashes and Resulting Injuries While Responding to or Returning from Alarms Involving FD Vehicles Involving FF personal vehicles

17 Crashes and Firefighter Injuries While Responding to or Returning from Alarms

18 Firefighter Fatalities

19 Who is a firefighter?  State and local fire service personnel, career and volunteer  State or local public service officer, acting as firefighter  Federal government fire service personnel  Temporary fire suppression personnel operating under official auspices of one of the above  Privately employed firefighters

20 How do we define “on-duty?”  At scene of alarms, whether fire or non-fire  En route responding to or returning from alarms  Performing other duties, including training, maintenance, public education, inspection, investigation, etc.  Performing non-fire duties on official assignment  Station duty

21 What do we count as an on-duty fatality?  Any injury that was incurred while on duty and proves fatal  Any illness that was incurred as a result of actions while on duty and proves fatal On-duty fatalities are associated with specific on-duty activities and are reported as of the date of injury or onset.

22 Defining the U.S. Firefighter Death Problem

23 Off-Duty, Retired and Former Firefighters Defining the U.S. Firefighter Death Problem The long-term health effects of firefighting cannot be reliably measured, in terms of resulting job-related deaths. A complete picture of the hazards of firefighting would include these fatalities.

24 Defining the U.S. Firefighter Death Problem On-Duty Firefighters The NFPA inclusion criteria counts deaths where onset occurred while the firefighter was on-duty. USFA adds Hometown Hero/PSOB qualifiers who were off-duty.

25 NFFF Defining the U.S. Firefighter Death Problem The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation uses the most narrow inclusion criteria, counting on-duty deaths and Hometown Hero qualifiers, but excluding on-duty deaths where drug abuse or negligence was a factor.

26 Off-Duty, Retired and Former Firefighters Defining the U.S. Firefighter Death Problem On-Duty Firefighters

27  41 volunteer firefighters  30 wildland firefighters  25 career firefighters  1 prison inmate 97 On-Duty Fatalities in 2013

28 Volunteer Career

29 2013 Firefighter Deaths by Type of Duty

30 2013 Career Firefighter Deaths by Type of Duty

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33 Career Firefighter Deaths by Time of Day

34 Career Firefighter Deaths by Time of Incident

35 Career Firefighter Deaths by Time of Incident

36 Career Firefighter Deaths by Time of Incident

37 Career Firefighter Deaths by Time of Incident

38 Career Firefighter Deaths by Time of Incident

39 Career Firefighter Deaths by Time of Incident

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41 2013 Career Firefighter Deaths by Cause of Injury

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45 2013 Career Firefighter Deaths by Nature of Injury

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52 Career Firefighter Deaths by Type of Duty

53 Structures 93% Vehicles 1% Refuse 1% Wildland 5% Career Firefighter Deaths by Type of Duty and Incident Type

54 Structure Fire Deaths by Fixed Property Use Career Only

55 Structure Fire Deaths by Fixed Property Use Career Only Vol – 6.9% Vol – 11.8% Vol – 4.5% Vol – 4.9% Vol – 62.2% Vol – 8.5%

56 CauseInsideOutside On Roof On LadderTotal Structural collapse Exertion/stress/other medical Fire progress Lost inside Struck by object/vehicle Explosion Fell in hole burned in floor/roof Fell/jumped from structure Other falls Electrocution Smoke exposure (all no SCBA) Gunshot Other caught/trapped Total Causes of Fatal Injuries at Structure Fires

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58 Patterns for Career Firefighter Deaths at Structure Fires

59 Major Causes of Non-Cardiac Deaths Inside Structures

60 Death Due to the Three Major Causes of Fatal Injuries While Operating Inside at Structure Fires

61 The average number of career firefighter deaths annually has dropped by half over the past 25 years. Among career firefighters, on-duty sudden cardiac deaths have dropped as well, but remain the #1 cause of on-duty firefighter deaths Almost half of all career firefighter deaths occur on the fire ground Snapshot

62  Sudden cardiac death continues to be the major problem  Real progress has been made in reducing firefighter deaths over the past 30 years, but more can be done, but on-duty career firefighter deaths are at a plateau of approximately 25 deaths each year. Concluding remarks

63 The 2013 firefighter fatality study was published in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal and the full report is available free on NFPA’s website: (under Research & Reports)


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