A total of 60 U.S. firefighters died in the line of duty last year, the lowest total since NFPA began tracking the data in 1977. It is the sixth time in the last seven years that the total number of on-duty fatalities was under 70.
A detailed report, “Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2017,” was published in the July/August issue of NFPA Journal.
Sudden cardiac arrest accounted for nearly half of the total line-of-duty deaths, according to the report. A total of 17 firefighters died on the fireground, the second lowest total in the past 40 years.
The low fatality numbers contrast dramatically to the late 1970s and early 1980s when the number of firefighter deaths averaged close to 150 per year.