The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) announced today the release of the report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2011 (PDF, 1.9 Mb). There were 83 onduty firefighter fatalities in the United States as a result of incidents that occurred in 2011. This represents a continuing decline in the overall number of firefighter fatality deaths in recent years and an almost five percent decrease from the 87 fatalities reported for 2010. When analyzing the overall trend in the United States going back to 1977, accounting for the Hometown Heroes added to totals since the law changed in 2004, the 2011 total represents the lowest year of record for the second year in a row.
The 83 fatalities occurred in 33 states, one U.S. territory, and one overseas U.S. military facility. Texas experienced the highest number of fatalities (7). North Carolina experienced six firefighter deaths and was the only other state with five or more firefighter fatalities.
Heart attacks were responsible for the deaths of 50 firefighters (60 percent) in 2011, nearly the same proportion of firefighter deaths from heart attack or stroke (63 percent) in 2010. Ten onduty firefighters died in association with wildland fires, the lowest number of annual firefighter deaths associated with wildland fires since 1996. Fifty-four percent of all firefighter fatalities occurred while performing emergency duties.
Four of the firefighters who died while responding to incidents in 2011 were killed by trauma caused by motor vehicle collisions, including three in privately-owned vehicles and one in a fire department apparatus.
For additional information on firefighter fatalities, including the annual fatality reports from 1986 through 2011 and 2012 firefighter deaths, please visit the USFA Web site at http://www.usfa.fema.gov.