The National Fire Protection Association has released the 2007 Firefighters Fatality Report. The report describes the attributes associated with the on-duty deaths of 102 firefighters in 2007. Only 3 of the firefighters were killed on wildland fires which is the lowest number of wildland fire ground deaths since data collection began in 1977 and well below the 10 year average of 10 wildland fire ground deaths. Another 7 firefighters were killed responding to or training for wildland firefighting.
Wilderness medicine providers should also note that the leading category of firefighter fatalities was from exertion, stress, and other medical issues. Sudden cardiac injury, not burns or trauma, is the leading nature of injury for all firefighters.
The report does not compile statistics for non-fatal injuries, but based on your knowledge or experience with wildland firefighting what are likely or common injuries?
Submitted by Greg Friese, MS, NREMT-P, WEMT
Since near misses are the leading predictor for future illness, injury or fatality firefighters can learn from others and apply those lessons to their own prevention efforts. Read more at the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center.