Attendees of the NFPA Conference & Expo presentation on the U.S. firefighter fatality problem learned about the results of NFPA's annual firefighter fatality study. According to NFPA's Dr. Rita Fahy, one of the authors of the report, it is "not a line of duty study, becuase that implies it was emergency related". Instead, the study was specific to on duty fatalities. This includes fatalities that happen at the scene, en route to/from the scene, or while performing training, maintenance, or public education.
The NFPA report shows that a total of 72 on-duty firefighter deaths occurred in the United States in 2010, a sharp drop from the 105 on-duty deaths in 2008 and 82 in 2009 and it is the lowest annual total since the NFPA began conducting this annual study in 1977.
Other key findings in the report include:
- There were nine deaths in crashes of road vehicles in 2010, as well as in 2009, which is the lowest since 1983.
- There were 44 volunteer firefighters deaths in 2010, which continues a downward trend.
- The ages of all U.S. firefighters who died ranged from 20 to 86 with a median age of 52.5 years.
Video: Watch Dr. Fahy and Ken Willette of NFPA"s Public Fire Protection Division, talk about the findings of the firefighter fatality report: