As a NJ firefighter, you know that the injuries you could suffer are nearly infinite—but you were prepared for those that came naturally on the job. You always thought that if you were going to suffer a work-related injury, it would be because of smoke inhalation or a serious burn—but you never imagined being laid up in Morristown Medical Center because you had a heart attack at the scene of a rescue.
Firefighters May Be Covered for a Wide Range of Serious On-the-Job Injuries
Over 100,000 firefighters are injured every year in the line of duty—relatively few of these are caused during active rescue. The most common causes of serious or fatal injury include:
- Emergency vehicle crashes. According to the United States Fire Administration, automobile accidents are the second leading cause of death for all on-duty firefighters. The combination of increased likelihood of rollover crashes and lack of seat belt use will often prove fatal for firefighters.
- Accidents during active rescue. Many firefighters suffer fatal injury by becoming trapped in a burning structure, suffering a fall from a height, or are caught in a building collapse.
- Volunteer vehicle accidents. Not only are firefighters likely to be injured in department vehicles, but volunteers are often injured while driving their own vehicles. A speeding car may easily disregard a respondent from Mount Tabor Volunteer fire department who is driving his own truck to the scene, causing potential loss of life for the firefighter and the victims he was en route to protect.
- Extreme physical exertion. Approximately half of all fire fighter fatalities are caused by stress and overexertion. This can occur on a call, during drills or testing, or while doing any physical activities related to the job.
- Underlying medical conditions. Fire and rescue is an intensely active profession, and can cause otherwise minor medical conditions to come to the surface.
How Can You Get Proper Compensation for Your Injury?
The first step you need to take is to find out as much as you can about your injury, including what to expect as you heal and which mistakes to avoid during your recovery. Get the answers to common questions in our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.