USFA: 2013 on-duty firefighter deaths jump to 5-year high

By Sarah Calams

For FireRescue1

Last year saw the highest recorded number of on-duty firefighter deaths since 2008. According to preliminary statistics compiled by the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 101 on-duty firefighter fatalities last year.

A full report is due out later this year.

The administration first started collating the figures in 1977. A total of 83 firefighter fatalities were recorded in both 2012 and 2011, 87 deaths in 2010, 93 in 2009 and a total of 118 in 2008.

This year’s total marks the first year of increase for on-duty deaths.

Being caught or trapped was the leading cause of firefighter deaths, accounting for 23.8 percent of fatal injuries. Stress and overexertion was the second-highest cause of fatal injury — 21.8 percent.

Trauma was the leading type of fatal injury this year, claiming 32.1 percent of the deaths. Heart attacks continue to be a concern, causing 19 percent of the fatal injuries.

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