Exercise, other activities cause majority of firefighter injuries: study

Tucson, AZ – Exercise, patient transportation and training drills caused more firefighter injuries than suppressing fires and other operations, according to a new study from the University of Arizona.

Researchers evaluated injury incidence data on injury type, severity and cause, the study abstract stated. Results indicated that between 2004 and 2009, an average of 17.7 injury incidents per 100 employees occurred each year, and exercise caused one-third of all injuries. Transporting patients and firehouse training drills were found to be the next most common causes of injuries, and approximately 1 out of 10 injuries were the result of fireground operations, the study concluded.

Researchers found that the majority of injuries were “minor in severity” and primarily consisted of sprains and strains, followed by contusions and lacerations, according to the abstract.

Researchers recommended that fire departments should expand their injury prevention focus beyond fireground operations to include exercise, patient transportation and training drills.

The study was published online Nov. 23 in the journal Injury Prevention.

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