EMS provider injury and fatality statistics

In the United States, there are approximately 900,000 certified emergency medical services personnel (EMSP) with 180,000 working full-time. The estimated fatality rate for EMSP within the United States was estimated at a rate of 12.7 per 100,000 [1]. During this time period (1992-1997), the average national occupational fatality rate was 5.0 per 100,000 employed workers in all industries [2]. The estimated fatality rate was derived based on 3 existing databases; the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), and the National EMS Memorial Service database. Quantifying the magnitude of fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries for EMSP is difficult since there is no unique industry or occupational code. In addition, the frequent causes and types of injuries have been described at local levels; however, less is known about the incidence of occupationally-related injuries among EMSP at the national level [3].

Transportation-related events were the leading cause of occupational fatalities for EMSP during the time period in which the overall occupational fatality rate was derived. The transportation-specific fatality rate was 9.6 fatalities per 100,000 EMSP. As a comparison, the transportation-specific occupational fatality rate for all workers within the United States was 2.0 per 100,000 workers during the midpoint of the study time period [1]. The transportation-related fatality rate for EMSP is more than four times the average occupational transportation-related fatality rate and the overall EMSP fatality rate is more than twice the average occupational fatality rate.