Firefighters Fatality Report

As a volunteer firefighter since 1998, I have a particular interest in fire-related issues and reports. This was an uncommissioned report I created that summarizes data from the National Fire Protection Association, based on National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) statistics. NIOSH investigations of firefighter deaths are the saddest reading you’ll ever do. For the most part, firefighters don’t die saving children from burning buildings. Most die in the most mundane of circumstances. A 54-year old fire chief taking the tanker for its state inspection blows a front left tire, rolls, and is ejected from the vehicle (Utah, 2005). A 55-year old fire marshal dies completing a firefighting physical fitness test (Utah, 2011). A fire chief and firefighter in Colorado die when their apparatus collapses a wooden bridge (2008). I read each story, which is meticulously described in these reports, and I always ask myself, “Could that happen to us?” And the answer is always, “Yes, it could.”