USA — The United States Fire Administration (USFA) has announced firefighter fatality statistics for 2010 showing for the first time the fewest on-duty deaths since statistics started being kept in 1977. In 2010, there were 85 on-duty firefighter fatalities in the United States with 15 classified as Hometown Heroes. This is the second year in a row where on-duty deaths have declined with 90 deaths reported in 2009.
There were losses reported in 31 states. Illinois experienced the highest number of fatalities (9), while New York (8), Ohio (8), and Pennsylvania (7), each suffered more than 5 on-duty losses, according to preliminary statistics from the USFA.
Of those 85 deaths, 55 were volunteer firefighters, 28 were career firefighters, one was a full-time wildland firefighter and one was a paid on-call firefighter. Four of the incidents involved multiple fatalities and nine of the incidents were associated with wildland firefighting.
Heart attacks are still the leading cause of death, killing 48 firefighters or 56.4%. Twenty firefighters were killed by traumatic injuries while three were crushed and one died from burn injuries.
The deadliest months were March and July with 11 deaths each month, September had nine deaths while October and November each recorded eight.
Twenty-five of the deaths occurred to firefighters over the age of 61 while 20 deaths were to people age 51 to 60. Two fatalities occurred to people under the age of 21.