EMMITSBURG, MD � The United States Fire Administration jhas announced that 115 line-of-duty firefighter fatalities occurred in the United States in 2005, plus four additional fatalities resulting from injuries sustained in the line-of-duty from previous years.
“One of the most difficult elements in this job is to hear that annual number of line-of-duty firefighter deaths,” Acting United States Fire Administrator Charlie Dickinson said.
“Across the country, over one hundred more families are struggling with the terrible losses of loved ones, from an 18-year old firefighter in training to the 55 firefighters who suffered fatal heart attacks.”
In 2005, there were four multiple, firefighter-fatality incidents � two in New York, three in Texas, two in Wyoming, and three in California. Tennessee lost two firefighters and New York lost one, all in separate incidents. Six firefighters died of Cerebral Vascular Accidents (CVAs). Vehicle crashes took 25 lives. Heart attack was the cause of 55 deaths, which is lower than the 61 from 2004.
The average age of firefighters who died in 2005 was 47 years � the youngest was 18 and the oldest was 76.
“Positive strides are being made through the growth of new and active firefighter health and safety programs, national safety stand downs, and the National Fallen Firefighter Foundation’s “Everyone Goes Home” efforts,” Dickinson emphasized.
“USFA is committed to doing everything we can to reduce these losses and hopefully all fire departments will share and join our commitment to protect all firefighters serving their communities.”
The report, Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2005, FA-306, can be downloaded from usfa.dhs.gov,/a>. Printed copies will be available in September 2006 through the USFA Publications Center.