While the youngest firefighter to die on duty in 2002, or possibly ever, was 14-year-old Christopher Kangas, the oldest to die on duty in 2002 was Fire Police Captain Harold Coons, Jr., 76. Coons was assisting with traffic and the set up of a medevac landing zone at the scene of a major traffic accident when he collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack. The youngest firefighter to die in 2001 was eighteen-year-old Karen L. Fitzpatrick, who was overcome with several of her crew members by the Thirty Mile Fire. The oldest firefighters to die in 2001 were three 78 year-olds.
Six women died in the line of duty in 2002, compared to five in 2001 and three in 2000.