NFPA: Patterns of Female Firefighter Injuries on the Fireground

Richard Campbell, National Fire Protection Association
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In 2010-2014, there were an estimated average of 1,260 fireground injuries experienced each year by U.S. female firefighters. Approximately two-thirds (65%) of the injuries were experienced by career firefighters, with volunteer firefighters experiencing the remaining 35% of injuries.

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Patterns of Female Firefighter Injuries on the Fireground 

The leading cause of injury was overexertion or strain for both career (23% of injuries) and volunteer (30%) firefighters, followed by exposure to hazard (17% career, 22% volunteer), and slip or trip (16% for career and volunteer). 

The vast majority of injuries occurred while fighting structure fires (86% career, 71% volunteer). Overall, 31% of injuries resulted in lost work time and were classified as either moderately severe (29%) or severe (2%) injuries. A higher share of career firefighter injuries were moderately severe (35%) than was the case for volunteer firefighters (18%). Younger age groups accounted for a greater share of injuries experienced by volunteer firefighters than among career firefighters, with 41% of volunteer injuries among firefighters aged 20 to 29, compared to 19% of career firefighter injuries in this age group.

 

  • Between 2010 and 2014, NFPA estimates that female firefighters experienced an average of 1,260 injuries on the fireground each year.
  • Approximately two-thirds (65%) of the injuries were experienced by career firefighters, with volunteer firefighters experiencing the remaining 35% of injuries.
  • The leading primary injury symptom was strain or sprain for both career (29%) and volunteer (19%) firefighters.
  • The leading cause of injury was overexertion or strain for both career (23% of injuries and volunteer (30%) firefighters, followed by exposure to hazard (17% career, 22% volunteer) and slip or trip (16% of career and volunteer).  

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August 2017
Volume 12, Issue 8
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