Interior attacks don't directly contribute to some of the heart attacks that account for around 50% of U.S. LODDs each year, and they don't account for any of the traffic accident fatalities. That puts the max direct affects of interior attacks on LODD rates at a max of 25%, or around 25 firefighters per year.
There are hundreds of variables that go into this...
Heart attacks and related cardiovascular problems cause about 50% of U.S. firefighter LODDS.
Traffic accidents - responding and returning - cause around 25%.
Some of the heart attacks are related to heat stress at incidents, some of it is due to firefighter fitness issues, some of it is attributed to genetic factors, and some of it is due to cumulative stress. Some of it may be due to inadequate incident rest and rehabilitation practices, inadequate fitness-for-duty medical exams, and some of it may be attributed to new-style turnout gear that doesn't allow the firefighter to shed heat as quickly as the older gear...gear that admittedly didn't give us as much thermal protection.
The U.S. has high fire rates, particularly in occupied multi-residential structures where rescue is a high priority. That means that U.S. firefighters are put into high-risk situations more often than our counterparts in other countries.
Because bottom line what we do is dance with the devil. It is dangerous work. Sad but true that brothers and sisters die every year in fires across America. I would love to see us go a year, month, week or day with no deaths. I pray that God will protect us each and everyone of us.
Amen Chief. We are in a dangerous profession. One that gets a lot of publicity when one of our own gets killed. Let's not forget that there are Police LODD incidents as well. There are also power linemen killed every year. I believe, they lose more than we do and we never hear about it.
I think the poster was asking about why the firefigher LODD rate is so much higher in the U.S. than in other countries. Firefighting is inherenly dangerous wherever it takes place, but we seem to find ways to kill more of our own while doing it than do firefighters in other countries.
I've buried all too many friends who have died as LODDs. There's no glory in it, despite the turnout for the funerals. Only a sad procession of families, all too often with young widows holding the hands of very young children who will spend years wondering why daddy didn't come home.