Does your Firefighter have a higher risk of dying driving to the store or working as a firefighter?
When a firefighter dies in the line of duty its called LODD or Line of Duty Death. If you watch the media and news, it will seem like firefighters are dying all the time. If you’re the wife of a firefighter, I would think that would be very nerve racking and scary.
But let’s look at the reality of it.
What are the chances that your firefighter will really perish in a LODD?
TRUTH: Very Very Very Slim chance.
In fact he has a better chance of dying in a car accident going to the grocery store when you ask him to go get milk and bread. Really! Let me explain.
Here are the facts:
According to statistics provided by the United States Fire Administration (Source: usfa.fema.gov) there are 1,082,500 firefighters in the US (278,300 career and 804,200 volunteer). There are on average about 100 firefighter LODD’s/year. So that makes the chances of your firefighter .00923% likely to become a LODD. That is less than 1/100 of a percent chance of your firefighter being mortally injured and not returning home.
Of the firefighter fatalities, roughly 44% were from cardiac related issues(Heart Attack) and they could have died at home or somewhere besides the fire ground. If a firefighter dies of a heart attack within 24 hours of the incident, it is considered a LODD.
The 2nd leading cause is vehicle accidents (roughly 27%). Firefighters getting killed driving to the fire station or going to the call where they were ejected from the vehicle, etc.
That leaves 30% of all other deaths including what you see on TV when a building collapses on a firefighter or they get lost in a fire and succumb to the products of combustion, etc.
The chances of us dying in a car accident in our lifetime in 1 in 100 or 1%. (Source: livescience.com)
So in actuality, your firefighter has a bigger risk dying when driving to the store than on the job.
Remember, the media sells fear so they will always play that and have it splashed all over the news. In reality, it’s rare compared to all the other dangers we face in life. So rest a little easier knowing that there are risks, but it is a very minimal risk that your husband will become a LODD.
One thing you can do to reduce that risk even more?
You can reduce their risk of LODD even more by encouraging and serving healthier meals and doing exercise with him to prevent the heart disease and heart stress that is the number 1 killer. Encourage the healthier lifestyle and healthier eating so you will help eliminate the #1 cause of LODD.
Thanks for being a firefighter significant other. We serve and help others and its nice to have a wife that supports and helps us. Keep up the good work & loving!
Fight the Fear
We encounter so many women who are fearful and anxious about their firefighters and LODD reports. Even the strongest of fire wives sometimes have the occasional bout of fear. Let’s fight it together! Join the Fire Wife Sisterhood, where you will find comfort, support and uplifting women who know exactly how it feels to love a firefighter. It’s free to sign up, or you can choose a supporting level if that is the right fit for you. Find out more and sign up at firefighterwife.com/join.
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- What Is the Chance Your Firefighter Dies on The Job? - September 17, 2013