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OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.
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January 8, 1998

A Firefighter Who Lives Can Save Your Life

About 100 firefighters die in the line of duty, 100,000 are injured, and almost 5,000 civilians are killed by fires annually, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. OSHA's new respirator standard and the "two-in / two-out" procedure dramatically increase firefighter protection, helping them save our lives and their own.

. USFA counts deaths on duty among all members of organized fire departments, public safety officers who act as firefighters, state and federal government fire service personnel, and privately employed firefighters. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that there were about 1.1 million firefighters in 1995.

Ninety-four firefighters died while on duty in 1996, the latest year for which statistics are available. This is a slight decrease from the 1995 total of 96 deaths.

About 72 percent of firefighter deaths were associated with emergency incidents. They resulted from responding to an emergency, duty at the emergency scene, or duty after the emergency incident. There were 38 deaths at fire scenes, or 40 percent of the total. Twenty-eight of these 38 deaths were in fires involving residential or commercial structures.

Eight of the deaths involved asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning or inhalation of smoke or superheated gases during structural firefighting. The firefighters were caught and trapped by rapidly spreading fires or structural collapses. OSHA's "two-in / two-out" requirements can greatly reduce the potential for such deaths.

Following are reported state-by-state totals for firefighter fatalities(some states did not report firefighter fatalities to USFA) Alabama 2 Arkansas 1 Arizona 1 Connecticut 2 Georgia 4 Hawaii 2 Illinois 4 Indiana 4 Iowa 1 Kansas 1 Kentucky 1 Louisiana 2 Maine 1 Maryland 5 Massachusetts 2 Michigan 2 Mississippi 4 Missouri 1 Nebraska 2 Nevada 0 New Jersey 5 New York 9 North Carolina 3 Ohio 3 Oklahoma 4 Pennsylvania 6 South Carolina 0 Tennessee 1 Texas 5 Utah 1 Vermont 0 Virginia 3 Washington 1 West Virginia 2 Wisconsin 0 Wyoming 1


Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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