NFPA releases report on firefighter injuries in 2010

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released its report, "U.S. Firefighter Injuries - 2010," which found that injuries in the line of duty have decreased eight percent since 2009, marking their lowest level in 20 years.

Injuries in the report are categorized by duty type, exposures to infectious diseases, and how the size of a community impacts firefighter injuries in a given department.

"Firefighters work in varied environments under extreme conditions that increase their risk of on-the-job death and injury," said Lorraine Carli, vice president of communications for NFPA. "This analysis helps NFPA and local fire departments gain a better understanding of how injuries occur so fire departments can implement the best solutions to minimize inherent risks."

The report indicates that 71,875 firefighter injuries were reported in 2010. Of the total, 15,000, or 20.8 percent, resulted in time away from work. In addition to reported injuries, about 11,200 exposures to infectious diseases occurred, while 25,700 hazardous work conditions were reported.

Firefighters use specialty safety products like self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBAs), helmets, visors, high temperature resistant jackets and pants, boots, and gloves. With the proper review and analysis, equipment, and training, firefighting companies can help ensure safety on the job and continue reducing the number of injuries.

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