Fire Ground Past & Present
Since 1994, the fire service has been averaging between 90 and 105 deaths per year. Heart attacks and strokes still account for the largest number of line of line of duty deaths. While the total number of deaths has generally been declining, the percentage of deaths due to heart attacks and stroke have actually risen. According to the NFPA, these heart attacks and strokes are almost always due to stress and overexertion.
Over the last 10 years, the fire service has been averaging 95,000 - 105,000 annual injuries. Over one-half have been injuries that occurred during emergency operations. Even with the many innovations and improved training programs in recent years, thousands of firefighters continue to be needlessly being injured or become ill on the fireground because of lack of medical surveillance. While we are grateful for better personal protective equipment, the fact is that wearing the equipment greatly increases the exertion / stress levels within the firefighter increasing the need for timely rehab of firefighters.