Fire/emergency medical services Statistics

NFPA: Firefighter injuries exceeded 65K in 2013

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Quincy, MA – More than 65,000 firefighters were injured in the line of duty in 2013, according to a report from the National Fire Protection Association.

Firefighter injuries were down 5.1 percent from 2012 and marked the lowest total since NFPA began collecting data in 1981. However, part of the long-term decrease could be attributed to changes to how hazardous exposures were categorized, NFPA said.

More than 45 percent of injuries in 2013 occurred during fireground operations, while additional injuries took place during non-fire emergencies, training, traveling and other activities. The most common causes of injuries during fireground operations included:

  • Overexertion/strain (26.5 percent)
  • Fall, slip or jump (22.7 percent)
  • Contact with object (12 percent)
  • Exposure to fire products (10.4 percent)
  • Struck by object (4.7 percent)

In addition to 65,880 injuries, NFPA reported 7,100 exposures to infectious diseases and 17,400 exposures to hazardous conditions.

Vehicle crashes while responding to or returning from incidents also remain a problem. NFPA estimates that 12,350 collisions involving fire department emergency vehicles occurred in 2013, resulting in 730 firefighter injuries.

In a report released in July, NFPA said 97 firefighters were killed in the line of duty in 2013. Ten of those firefighters died in vehicle crashes, according to NFPA.