Reducing Firefighter Vehicle Crash Fatalities

Issue 6 and Volume 162.

BY KRISTINA PETERSON, HARLAN AMANDUS, and JAMES T. WASSELL The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Over the past three decades, vehicle-related crashes have been the second leading cause of firefighter line-of-duty deaths (LODDs). About a quarter of on-duty firefighter LODDs occur in motor vehicle-related incidents and crashes, many while responding to or returning from an incident. More than a third of those deaths involved firefighters’ personal vehicles, and three-quarters of the victims were volunteer firefighters.1 Motor vehicle-related incidents primarily involve collisions (including those involving aircraft and boats) and rollovers (see “Fire Truck Rollover”). Other fatal events include falls from a vehicle or being struck by a vehicle while working at an emergency scene where the vehicle plays a key role in the fatality. (1) Most of the…

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