We all depend on the brave firefighters who put their health and safety at risk to protect others. It is noble and vital work, but it is also dangerous.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 70,000 line-of-duty firefighter injuries occurred in 2019. You may think burn injuries topped the list, but most firefighters suffer harm in other ways.
Burn injuries aren’t among those most frequently suffered
The most common injuries affecting firefighters are strain and overexertion. Considering that they must haul heavy water lines, debris and other objects, it is no surprise that overexertion is a problem. Other frequently suffered injuries include:
- Injuries from slips, trips, falls and jumps
- Exposure to fire products
- Contact with and getting struck by objects
- Exposure to radiation and toxic chemicals
- Injuries suffered due to extreme weather
The NFPA also listed “other” as a category resulting in 14% of firefighter injuries recorded in 2019.
As you can see, exposure to fire itself does not seem to injure firefighters as much as you may have thought. However, burn injuries do occur, and they can leave workers with life-threatening injuries. Firefighters also have a high risk of developing cancer or severe respiratory injuries from toxic exposure.
As a firefighter employed in Tucson or another Arizona city, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation for work-related injuries. Knowledge of the workers’ comp laws and regulations can help ensure that your claim is accepted without any issues. That, as well as legal guidance, can also help you pursue an appeal if your initial claim results in a denial of benefits.