Fallen Firefighters 2002

The patron Saint of Firefighters is, St. Florian

Louis A. Rickards (55) President/Chief Emeritus
Lewes Fire Department, DE
Last Alarm: February 3, 2002
Cause of Death: Vehicle Accident

Christopher Kangas (14) Junior Firefighter
Brookhaven Fire Department, PA
Last Alarm: May 4, 2002
Cause of Death: Vehcile Accident

John Thomas Russo (59) Firefighter/Engineer
Montclair Fire DEpartment, California
Last Alarm: November 30, 2002
Cause of Death: Accidental

Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2001

According to data from the United States Fire Administration (USFA), during the period 1977 through 2002, there was an average of 115 fire fighter fatalities per year, not including the 343 fire fighters who died at the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001.1 Over the last decade, there have also been approximately 90 000 non-fatal fire fighter injuries annually, about half occurring at a fire scene.2 Fire fighters face many hazards, including physical stresses, ground and air transportation risks, as well as fire scene injury hazards that are specific to the fire fighting profession. Structural fires pose particular hazards to fire fighters from structural collapse or becoming lost or disoriented and unable to escape before running out of oxygen. For the period 1977 through 2000, the number of fire fighter deaths in structure fires declined 59%; however, the rate of fire fighter deaths from traumatic injuries during structural fire fighting has actually increased over this same time period.3 Fahy reports that in the late 1970s, traumatic fire fighter deaths occurred at a rate of 1.8 deaths per 100 000 structure fires; by the late 1990s, this rate had increased to 3.0 deaths per 100 000 structure fires.3 Despite improvements in personal protective equipment and other new technologies developed for fire fighting, the profession remains one of the most hazardous.



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