Heart Attacks, Trauma Killed Firefighters in 2008

Jan. 6, 2009

Last year, 114 firefighters died on duty in the United States.

Preliminary reports gathered by the U.S. Fire Administration show that's four fewer than during 2007.

Trauma and heart attacks continue to be the leading causes of deaths of firefighters, statistics show.

The number of on-duty deaths may change over the next few months as further investigation is conducted. Traditionally, each state fire marshal's office is contacted to make sure no firefighter fatalities were overlooked.

Of those who died in 2008, 56 were volunteers and 30 were career firefighters. Twenty six personnel died while battling wildfires.

Records show there were five incidents in which multiple firefighters died.

Nineteen personnel were killed while responding to incidents.

U.S. Fire Administrator Greg Cade said: "The tragic losses of on-duty firefighters in 2008 are a reminder of the necessary commitment and efforts by firefighters in all fire departments across the United States to focus on and improve our operational safety. We understand all too well that many of these losses are preventable. The USFA remains dedicated to continuing our efforts to ensure 2009 is a year where we reduce these losses of firefighters by families, communities and the fire service."

The USFA keeps track of firefighters killed on duty across the country. More information is available at USFA Fire Fatalities

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