Fire/emergency medical services

NFPA: 68 on-duty firefighters died in 2015

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Quincy, MA – Sixty-eight firefighters died while on duty in 2015 – the fourth time in the past five years that the number of firefighter deaths totaled fewer than 70 – according to an annual report released June 9 by the National Fire Protection Association.

More than half of the fatalities (35) were categorized as sudden cardiac death, the leading cause of on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States, NFPA stated. During the past decade, sudden cardiac death has accounted for 42 percent of on-the-job firefighter fatalities.

“While it’s encouraging to see an overall decline in the number of firefighter fatalities, areas of concern remain, particularly sudden cardiac deaths,” Rita Fahy, NFPA’s manager of fire databases and systems, said in a press release.

The fatalities in 2015 included 32 volunteer firefighters, 24 career firefighters, six employees of federal land management agencies and three federal contractors.

The annual average number of firefighter deaths over the past decade is 81.

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