When it comes to work-related injuries and fatalities, first responders are among those facing the greatest risk. Firefighters and police officers might come to mind, but even medical personnel often face the highest levels of risk.
In fact, CNBC identifies the emergency medical technician position as one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Here are some other first responder professions worth examining.
One surprising find is that nursing ranks second only to construction as one of the most physically hazardous jobs in America. These professional experience an incident rate that is higher than 12%.
In some instances, vets might also rank among first responder workers as they take the role of nurses and doctors when accidents involve animals. These professionals are at high risk of developing non-fatal illnesses and rank 15th for this problem.
When it comes to law enforcement, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 606 fatal work-related incidents occurred among police officers between 2011 and 2015. The leading causes of death included accidental shootings, suicide and pedestrian-vehicular incidents.
Believe it or not, fire and rescue actually suffered fewer fatal injuries during this same time frame at just 232 incidents. Almost half of these people were volunteer firefighters. Perhaps, not surprisingly, fires caused two-fifths of these incidents. Here are the most dangerous fires:
- Forest or bush fires
- Fires that cause structures to collapse
- Burning buildings that do not collapse
First responders make significant contributions to public welfare. Unfortunately, many workers end up giving their health, lives or both in service to society.