How many firefighters in the United States have died in the line of duty?

Last updated November 13, 2015 - 7:30 a.m.

Temporary web page for research - Contact Mike with questions, additions, ideas

See related blog posting.

Notes at the bottom

Total EarliestData Source Highest Counts By Department Notes
AL 235 1901 Alabama Firefighter Memorial
  • Birmingham - 28
  • Mobile - 27
  • Montgomery - 18
  • Huntsville - 16
  • Tuscaloosa - 14
Name, department, and death year can be directly downloaded in .xls format.
AK 27 1941 ASFFA
  • Bureau of Land Management - 12
  • US Army - 4
  • Anchorage - 3
Name, department, and date listed on site. Details available for most names.
AZ 119 1902 Arizona Fallen Firefighter Memorial
  • Prescott - 20
  • Kingman - 12
  • Phoenix - 12
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs - 9
  • Mesa - 5
Name, department, and death year listed on site.
AR 105 1889 Arkansas Fallen Firefighters' Memorial
  • Little Rock - 25
  • Fort Smith - 6
  • Arkansas Forestry Commission - 5
  • Hot Springs - 5
Name, department, and date listed on site, as of November 4, 2007.
CA 1,256 1851 California Fire Foundation
  • San Francisco - 152
  • California Department of Forestry - 134
  • Los Angeles City - 118
  • US Forest Service - 116
  • Los Angeles County - 86
  • Oakland - 47
  • Sacramento City - 35
  • Long Beach - 16
  • San Diego - 16
  • Cal Fire - 15
  • Contra Costa County - 15
  • Ventura County - 15
  • San Jose - 14
  • Stockton - 13
  • Berkeley - 12
  • Orange County - 11
  • Kern County - 10
  • US Marine Corps - 10
Name, department, and decade of death listed on site's Memorial Wall section.
CO 145 1886 Colorado Fallen Firefighters Foundation
  • Denver - 58
  • US Forest Service - 22
  • Bureau of Land Management - 6
Name, department, and date listed on site.
CT 322 1852 CT CFPC
  • Danbury - 7
  • Greenwich - 6
  • Stamford - 5
Name, department, department address, death date, cause, date approved, and panel number listed on PDF download.
DC 100 1856 DCFD LODD Memorial   Name, date, and details listed on site.
DE 51 1890 DVFA
  • Wilmington - 22
  • Cranston Heights - 5
Name, department, date listed on site.
FL 183 1885 FL DSFM
  • Jacksonville - 21
  • Miami-Dade (Metro-Dade) - 15
  • Tampa - 15
  • Hillsborough County - 8
  • Florida Division of Forestry - 7
  • Pensacola - 6

Name and death year listed on site.

Different counts for Jacksonville (23 via source) and Tampa (16 via source).

GA 68since 1981 Georgia Fallen Firefighters Foundation
  • Atlanta, 56 since ____
  • Savannah, 23 since 1865. (Source)
Name, department, and death year listed on site, since 1981.
HI 7since 1981 (NFFF)   No comprehensive data yet found.
ID 19 1894 Idaho Fallen Firefighters Foundation
  • Boise City - 5
  • Kuna - 2
Name, department, date, and IAFF local number (if applicable) listed on site.
IL 861 1857 IFSI
  • Chicago - 569
  • Chicago Fire Insurance Patrol - 21
  • Peoria - 16
  • Springfield - 14
  • Union Oil - 10
  • World's Columbian Exposition - 9
Name, department, and death year listed via database query. Details available for each record, including rank, type of firefighter, age, gender, birth date, cause of death, nature of death, type of duty, and incident details.
IN 321 1873 PFUI
  • Indianapolis - 71
  • Evansville - 25
  • Fort Wayne - 14
  • South Bend - 14
  • Terre Haute - 12
Name, department, date, and panel number listed on site.
IA 144 1890 Iowa Firefighters Memorial
  • Des Moines - 22
  • Dubuque - 8
  • Sioux City - 8
Name, department, dates active, and death date listed via database query. Biographical information, including cause of death, available for many records.
KS 126 1887 KSFFA
  • Kansas City - 18
  • Wichita - 16
Name, department, and date listed on site.
KY 200+   KFC
  • Louisville - 80, between 1862 and 1994. Source
Site contains the text "at the present time there are more than 200 names on the wall." No other data located.
LA 113     Source is news story. No comprehensive data yet found.
ME 26since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Portland - 20, since ____. Source
No comprehensive data yet found.
MD 409 1840 Maryland Fire-Rescue Services Memorial
  • Baltimore City - 161
  • Baltimore County - 20
  • Anne Arundel County - 6
Name, department, date, and county are listed via database search. Profile information available, including age, rank, years of service, and narrative.
 
Includes EMS and rescue squad agencies, which comprise less than 20 of the total, it appear.
MA 701   Massachusetts Fallen Firefighters Memorial Site contains the text "currently 701 names are included within the ring of honor." No comprehensive data yet found.
MI ~1,771   Michigan Firemen's Memorial
  • Detroit - 108 since 1867. Source
Site contains pictures of memorial plaques. Downloaded each image and hand-counted names to calculate approximate total.
MN 214 1881 Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial Association
  • Minneapolis - 62
  • St. Paul - 62
  • Duluth - 17
  • West St. Paul - 4
  • Winona - 4
Name, department, and data available via database searching. Details including images and documents available for many records.

Created a "flat" list of the data by copying the pasting source code into a Word document and doing some text manipulation magic.
MS 91      Source is news story from October 2014. No comprehensive data yet found.
MO 418 1838 FFAM
  • St. Louis - 167
  • Kansas City - 104
Name, department, and date available via Word document download.
MT 27since 1981 (NFFF)

 

No comprehensive data yet found.
NE 24since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Omaha - 55 since ___. Source
No comprehensive data yet found.
NV 61   1870 Nevada Firefighters Memorial
  • Bureau of Land Management - 15
  • Civilian Conservation Corps - 5
  • Reno - 4
  • Clark County - 4
Name, department, date, and year added listed on site.
NH 68   1886 New Hampshire Fallen Firefighters Memorial
  • Manchester - 14
  • Nashua - 9
  • Concord - 6
Name, department, death year listed on site.
NJ ~366   1857 or earlier New Jersey Fallen Firefighter's Memorial, NFFF Total combines 141 from NFFF and ~225 from New Jersey Memorial. The latter are names not present on the NFFF memorial. The memorial organization provided the total, but are still verifying their detailed information prior to public release.
NM 35since 1981 (NFFF)   No comprehensive data yet found.
NY 2,317 1889 New York State Firefighters Memorial
  • New York - 1181 (see also)
  • Buffalo - 122
  • Rochester - 50
  • Albany - 47
  • Syracuse - 44
  • Troy - 25
  • Binghamton - 23
  • Yonkers - 17
  • Schenectady - 10
Name, rank, department, date, and memorial location listed in PDF download.
NC 250 1926 North Carolina Fallen Firefighters Foundation
  • North Carolina Division of Forest Resources - 13
  • Charlotte - 12
  • Winston-Salem - 8
  • Asheville - 7
  • Wilmington - 7
Name, department, date, and details available via search feature on site.
 
See also Legeros database, which lists 275 firefighter fatalities.
ND 20 1907 North Dakota Fallen Firefighter's Memorial
  • Fargo - 7
Name, department, and death year listed on site.
OH 132since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Cincinnati - 90 since 1843. Source
  • Cleveland - 76 since 1863. Source
  • Toledo - 52 since 1872. Source
No comprehensive data yet found.
OK 49since 1981 (NFFF)  No comprehensive data yet found.
OR 172 1881 Oregon Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial
  • Portland - 44
  • USFS - 15
  • Grayback - 10
  • Oregon Division of Forestry - 10
Name, department, death year available as PDF download.
PA 297since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Philadelphia - 254 between 1872 and 1999. Source: History book
  • Pittsburgh - 14 since 1933. Source
No comprehensive data yet found.
RI 11since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Providence - 57, since 1828, Providence. Source
No comprehensive data yet found.
SC 102 1868 SCSFA
  • Charleston - 9
  • Columbia - 5
  • Florence - 3
  • Greenville - 3
  • Hilton Head - 3
Name, department, death year listed on PDF download.
SD 43 SDFA
  • Rapid City - 9
  • Miller Volunteer - 4
  • NC Air National Guard - 4
Name and department listed on site.
TN 223 1876 Tennessee Fallen Firefighters Memorial
  • Memphis - 57
  • Nashville - 41
  • Knoxville - 23
  • Tennessee Division of Forestry - 23
  • Chattanooga - 11
Name, department, death year listed on site.
TX 199since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Houston - 94, since 1895. Source.
No comprehensive data yet found.
UT 56   1920 Utah State Fire Marshal
  • Salt Lake City - 13
  • Neptune Aviation - 5
  • Salt Lake County - 4
  • Ashley National Forest - 3
  • Tooele - 3
Data supplied by request from USFM, with name, department, date, and type of incident/cause. Data last updated June 4, 2012.
VT 47   VSFA  Site includes the text "There are currently 25 Police Officer's, 47 Firefighters, 9 Correctional Officers and 7 EMS Personnel who's names appear on the Memorial."
VA 79since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Richmond - 40, between 1854 and 2007. Source: History book.
No comprehensive data yet found. An annual memorial service honors fallen firefighters and EMS workers, and appears sponsored by the Virginia State Firefighters Association.
WA 56since 1981 (NFFF)
  • Seattle - 31, since 1889. Source.
No comprehensive data yet found. An annual memorial service has been held since 1985, established by the Washington State Firefighters' Association. More info.
WV 76 1901 West Virginia Fallen Firefighter Memorial
  • Charleston - 12
  • Huntington - 9
  • Wheeling - 4
Name, department, death year available on site.
WI 280 1860 Wisconsin State Firefighters Memorial
  • Milwaukee - 130
  • Racine - 7
  • Superior - 7
  • Kenosha - 6
  • Green Bay - 5
  • Madison - 5
Name, rank, department, city, and date available on site.
WY 50 1920 WFA
  • Civilian Conservation Corps - 11
  • US Forest Service - 5
  • Bureau of Land Management - 3
Name, department, date available on site.
Total 13,072          

Introduction

This TEMPORARY page started as a idle question. How many firefighters - in the USA have died in the line of duty? The obvious go-to source is the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and their fallen firefighter listings. But the memorial was created in 1981, and their listings don't yet include fatalities before 1981.

Commenced searching for per-state information. Started with the NFFF page of state memorials, and visited each site. Viewed, browsed, queried, or counted data. - Sometimes parsing or counting by hand. For states without memorial sites - or tribute pages, queried the NFFF Fallen Firefighter listings. Hand-counted those results, since they're not displayed in tabular format. Please note the possibility of counting or typing errors.

Additionally, totals for a particular state may differ based on who or what agency is counting and what criteria they are using. - See below "what is a line of duty death".

Data Sources

Highest Counts By Department

1181 New York NY
569 Chicago IL
254 Philadelphia PA
185 Boston MA
168 Baltimore City MD
167 St. Louis MO
152 San Francisco CA
134 California Department of Forestry CA
130 Milwaukee WI
122 Buffalo NY
118 Los Angeles City CA
116 US Forest Service CA
108 Detroit MN
104 Kansas City MO
100 Washington DC

See entire list at www.legeros.com/temp/lodd/by-dept-counts.pdf

Deadliest Fires for Firefighters

Need a section here, or pointing to most current source. Here's a blog post of mine from July 2013 on the subject.

Wildland Firefighter Deaths

This database from the Always Remember project has over 700 entries, of individuals and incidents involving wildfires dating to the Peshtigo Fire of 1871.

Department of Defense Line of Duty Deaths

Memorialized at this site. Total 101 since 1941. By branch:

Definitions

What defines a line of duty death? Can probably cite a couple sources here, but we'll start with:

What is a firefighter? There's another issue to explore, and notably as you go further (or much further) back in time.

Input Wanted!

Contact Mike