Trends in Firefighter Fatalities Due to Structural Collapse, 1979-2002
L D. Brassell, D D. Evans
Between the years 1979 and 2002 there were over 180 firefighter fatalities due to structural collapse, not including those firefighters lost in 2001 in the collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. Structural collapse is an insidious problem within the fire fighting community. It often occurs without warning and can easily cause multiple fatalities. As part of a larger research program to help reduce firefighter injuries and fatalities the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) funded the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to examine records and determine if there were any trends or patterns that could be detected in firefighter fatalities due to structural collapse. If so, this information may be valuable immediately in training or incident command to increase safety of firefighters.