By Heather R. Cotter, IPSA Executive Director and Founder
First responders experience extreme physical demands, often in hazardous environments. Many tragedies occur suddenly and without warning. Gunshot wounds, building collapses, vehicular accidents, assaults and other causal factors contribute to untimely deaths in our emergency response community. Further, first responders face several threats to occupational related diseases such as cancer and cardiorespiratory related maladies. Law enforcement, firefighting and rescue activities are inherently dangerous occupations.
Since June 2018, we have lost 48 first responders, according to data pulled from the Officer Down Memorial Page and the U.S. Fire Administration. These 48 fatalities include law enforcement officers, firefighters and K9 officers. The cause of death includes vehicle accidents, illnesses, gunfire and duty related injuries.
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