Report: NFPA's "Fatal Firefighter Injuries in the US in 2022"
Author: Richard Campbell and Jay T. Petrillo
Issued: June 2023
In 2022, NFPA reported that a total of 96 fatal firefighter injuries occurred while the victims were on duty. This fatal injury count is higher than recent years and the highest since 2013, when 98 on-duty deaths were reported. This increase is largely due to the inclusion of deaths occurring within 24 hours of duty. These deaths were previously not counted unless there was a specific physical complaint while on duty.
The report contains overall statistics from NFPA’s study on on-duty firefighter fatalities in 2021. It includes patterns by type of duty at the time of fatal injury, cause and nature of injury, age, type of incident and property involved in fires.
*Errata issued August 29, 2023
Of the 96 firefighters who died of on-duty injuries in 2022, 51 were volunteer firefighters, 38 were career firefighters, six were contractors to state and federal land management agencies, and one was a full-time federal land management employee.
- There were six multiple fatality incidents in 2022, tied for the highest number of multiple fatality incidents since 2009. Five of these incidents resulted in two firefighter deaths and one resulted in three firefighter deaths.
- The largest share of deaths occurred on the fireground while firefighters were operating at fires or explosions (34 deaths).
- Just over one-fifth of the firefighter deaths (21) occurred while responding to or returning from alarms.
- Overexertion and stress accounted for just over one-half of the deaths in 2022.
- Fourteen firefighters died in vehicle crashes. Seven of these deaths were caused by collisions with other vehicles, four by collisions with stationary objects, and three in which vehicles overturned.
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