For the Record 11/13

USFA releases annual report on firefighter fatalities

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) has released the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2012. According to the report, there were 81 on-duty firefighter fatalities as a result of incidents that occurred last year. The fatalities occurred in 31 states, one territory, and one overseas military facility. A record low number of firefighter deaths were caused by heart attacks (39), but deaths caused by vehicle crashes were back up with 18 firefighters killed as the result of 14 accidents, six involving POVs, six involving apparatus and six from two incidents involving aircraft.

Other notable items in the report include:

  • The total breakdown included 42 volunteer, 28 career, and 11 wildland agency firefighters.
  • Activities related to emergency incidents resulted in the deaths of 45 firefighters.
  • Twenty-two firefighters died while engaging in activities at the scene of a fire.
  • Seventeen firefighters died while responding to or returning from 16 emergency incidents.
  • Heart attacks were the most frequent cause of death with 39 firefighter deaths.
  • Eight firefighters died while they were engaged in training activities.
  • Twelve firefighters died after the conclusion of their on-duty activity.

Visit to download this free report and previous reports back to 1986.



Call for Papers

In response to the pressing need for international dialogue SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden has instigated the international conference: FIVE (Fires In Vehicles). The objective of this conference is to exchange knowledge concerning fires in vehicles, including both road and rail vehicles. In recognition of the fact that many of the fire problems faced by these vehicles are the same, the solutions to them can also be similar. The conference will be held at the Seminaris CampusHotel in Berlin beginning on October 1, 2014. The two-day event will include both oral presentations and a poster session.

Conference topics include:

  • Regulations and standards
  • Fire statistics
  • Fire development in vehicles
  • Fire detection in vehicles
  • Fire suppression in vehicles
  • Fire mitigation strategies in vehicles
  • Case studies
  • First responder strategies
  • Fire risks in vehicles with alternative fuels or alternative drives

Authors are invited to submit papers covering these topics. Manuscripts and posters will be reviewed on the basis of an extended abstract of not more than two pages. Acceptance for presentation and publication will be based on scientific quality and significance. The manuscripts accepted for presentation at the symposium will be published as Proceedings of the Symposium. Manuscript abstracts should be submitted to the Secretariat by email ( by December 1, 2013.


Line-of-Duty Deaths

Two firefighters recently died in the line of duty in two separate incidents. One death was the result of an accident and one death was health related.

FIREFIGHTER IRAN D. RIVERS, 48, of the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Department in Tampa, FL, died on Sept. 22. During shift change, Rivers was discovered deceased in the station. He had answered an emergency medical call earlier in the shift. Rivers was a 24-year veteran of the fire service.

FIREFIGHTER MARK T. URBAN, 40, of the Boise Smokejumpers/Bureau of Land Management in Boise, ID, died on Sept. 27. Urban suffered fatal injuries while performing a proficiency jump at Smith Prairie Airport. Urban was a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service and a 10-year member of the Smokejumpers.

Jay K. Bradish