The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released its annual U.S. Firefighter Fatalities report, which showed a total of 60 U.S. firefighter fatalities while on duty in 2017. This number represents the lowest total reported since 1977, when NFPA began reporting on-duty firefighter fatalities; it is the sixth time in the last seven years that the total has been below 70 deaths.
Of the 60 fatalities, 32 were volunteer firefighters, 21 were career firefighters, three were employees of federal land management agencies, two were contractors with federal and state land management agencies and two were prison inmates. Deaths among career and volunteer firefighters were both at their second lowest totals in 2017. The 17 deaths that occurred at the fire scene represents the second-lowest number of fire ground deaths since the study’s inception, and the second consecutive year that the number has been below 20.