Fatal Occupational Injuries to Emergency Responders
Emergency responders include public-sector law enforcement, firefighting and prevention personnel, and ambulance
Workers in these occupations regularly risk harm to themselves to protect the public. During 2011-15, 838
responders died from fatal occupational injuries.
Police and sheriff’s patrol officers suffered most of the fatal occupational injuries
among law-enforcement workers.
Law-enforcement workers also include bailiffs, correctional officers and jailers, detectives
and criminal investigators,
and associated supervisors.
Between 2011 and 2015, law-enforcement workers suffered 606 fatal work injuries.
The following chart shows a breakdown of each event or exposure category for law enforcement officers.
Fire and Rescue
Fire and rescue services provide emergency firefighting services and often other life safety services, such as
rescue, hazardous materials spill clean-up, and fire prevention. Cities and counties of a million or more
many smaller towns, typically provide advanced life support emergency medical services in tandem with
same personnel often perform both services
Fire Protection Association (NFPA)).
Local governments are increasingly integrating emergency medical services into their fire and rescue operations
Because firefighting and emergency medical services are becoming
more integrated, firefighters are typically
emergency medical services and hold an emergency medical technician (EMT) certification, according to the
Outlook Handbook. There are usually more medical
calls than fire calls (NFPA), so this analysis groups ambulance
and attendants and emergency medical technicians and paramedics in fire protection and ambulance services with
and prevention workers and their associated supervisory positions. The analysis includes emergency responders
“dual role” fire and rescue services and in traditional firefighting-only and ambulance-only services.
Between 2011 and 2015, fire and rescue workers suffered 232 fatal work injuries.
The following table shows the kinds of fires in which these workers suffered fatal injuries.
Kinds of fires in which fire and rescue personnel suffer fatal work injuries, 2011-15
Forest or brush fire
Collapsing building structure or structural element during fire
Other structural fire without collapse
All other fires
The following chart shows a breakdown of each event or exposure category for fire and rescue workers.
For further information, see this firefighter fact
sheet and article.
For technical information and definitions, please see the BLS Handbook of
You can obtain data from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program by using the following
tools: Create Customized Tables (Multiple Screens),
Create Customized Tables (Single Screen), and the
Online Profiles System. Additional tables and charts are on
the IIF homepage and the IIF
Last Modified Date: December 18, 2017