How Often Are Firefighters Injured on the Job in South Carolina?

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South Carolina firefighters responded to 435,007 incidents in 2018. Fires in the state cost $160 million in property damage each year. In addition to fires, firefighters respond to medical emergencies and rescue calls.

Firefighting is a dangerous profession. While they are keeping the public safe, firefighters put their own well-being at risk. Firefighters, their families, and the public should know how often firefighters are injured on the job in South Carolina.

Firefighter Injury Statistics

South Carolina:

  • 226 firefighters in South Carolina were injured on the job in 2019.
  • 198 firefighters in South Carolina were injured on the job in 2018.
  • 212 firefighters in South Carolina were injured on the job in 2017.
  • Injuries occur steadily throughout the year, with the lowest number in January and November.
  • Injuries happen at all times of the day, but they are most common from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • All counties in South Carolina reported at least one firefighter injury in 2019. Charleston, Horry, and Greenville counties reported the most injuries.

Nationally:

  • There were 65 firefighter fatalities in the United States in 2022.
  • 60-100 firefighter deaths occur in the United States each year.
  • 60,750 firefighters were hurt on the job in 2021.
  • Injuries are most likely to occur during fire ground operations, but traffic collisions and training mishaps can also result in injury.

Sources: South Carolina State NFIRS Program, 2018 Annual Data Report, 2019 Annual Data Report, CDC, FFFIPP – Data and Statistics. CDC, Firefighter Fatality Map, NFPA, Untied States Firefighter Injuries in 2021.

Causes of Firefighter Injury

  • Being struck by an object, like a tree
  • Explosion
  • Stressful events and exertion
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Slip and fall, falling from an elevated height
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Cuts and lacerations from equipment, sharp objects, and other dangers
  • Heat exhaustion and heat stroke
  • Hazardous materials

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) regulations call for an adequate fire service respiratory program, occupational safety and health programs, safety procedures, appropriate protective gear, and an incident management system.

Common Types of Firefighter Injury

  • Broken bones
  • Burns, scalding
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cardiac issues
  • Cancer
  • Blunt force trauma, internal organ damage
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Amputation

(Source: OSHA, Accident Search Results, Fire Fighter).

Help for Injured Firefighters

If you are a firefighter who is injured on the job in South Carolina, there are numerous programs and resources that may assist you.

You may receive workers’ compensation for an occupational injury or disease. Workers’ compensation may provide medical care for your injuries. You may receive replacement income if injuries fully or partially prevent you from working. You may claim compensation if you suffer permanent injury or disfigurement.

Surviving family members may receive death benefits, including cash payments and funeral costs.

South Carolina Code § 42-11-30 creates a presumption for firefighters that certain heart and respiratory diseases resulting in disability or death have arisen out of employment. The presumption can make it easier for a firefighter to receive workers’ compensation benefits for certain occupational diseases.

In addition, under South Carolina Code § 59-111-110, if a firefighter becomes totally disabled or killed in the line of duty, their children may receive four years of tuition-free education at any state-supported college, university, vocational or technical school. The Firefighter Cancer Health Care Benefit Plan may provide reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical costs, a one-time diagnosis benefit, and a death benefit for firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

A third-party legal claim may be a possibility. Other benefits and programs, both public and private, may be available if you or a loved one suffers an injury as a firefighter in South Carolina.

How a lawyer can help

When a firefighter faces serious injury, they need serious legal representation. It isn’t always easy to know what benefits you deserve or what to do if you’re having trouble getting your benefits.

Robert “Bobby” Jones is an experienced lawyer. He is proud to represent injured firefighters. It is his goal for you to receive the benefits, payments, and compensation that you deserve while he simplifies the process and represents your interests.

If you or a loved one has been hurt in the line of duty as a firefighter, contact us at Bobby Jones Law to talk about your situation. We can start representing you today.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
  • Named among Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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