Every day, first responders put their lives on the line to protect and serve the community. However, the nature of their work, often conducted in high-stress and hazardous environments, makes them vulnerable to a variety of injuries. If you are injured as a first responder, it is important to seek medical care right away and to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
Common Injuries Suffered by Emergency Medical Services
Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers play a pivotal role in public health and safety, responding swiftly to medical emergencies. Despite their invaluable service, they face a unique set of occupational hazards.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more than 22,000 EMS workers visit emergency departments due to work-related injuries. These injuries arise from a variety of factors, such as:
Repetitive motion injuries leading to sprain and strains, with 6,000 injured each year
Exposure to harmful substances, harming 6,000 workers per year
Slips, trips, and falls, accounting for 4,000 injuries each year
Motor vehicle collisions, which contribute to 2,000 injuries
Workplace violence and assaults, with 2,000 cases annually
Common Injuries Suffered by Firefighters
Firefighters are often hailed as heroes, courageously battling flames and risking their lives to save others. However, this bravery comes at a cost. In 2021 alone, an estimated 60,750 firefighter injuries were reported, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
A significant portion of these injuries, approximately 32 percent, occurred at fireground operations. Overexertion or strain was the leading cause of these injuries, followed closely by falls, jumps, slips, or trips. Notably, strains, sprains, and muscular pain comprised about 41 percent of the fireground injuries.
Firefighters also face risks during training activities, responses to non-fire emergencies, and other on-duty tasks. The prevalence of strains and sprains, particularly during training where they account for 58% of injuries, highlights the physical demands and risks associated with firefighting.
Common Injuries Suffered by Police Officers
Policing is widely recognized as one of the most hazardous professions. Officers are regularly exposed to potential injuries while responding to violent situations, pursuing suspects, and managing traffic incidents. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine revealed that non-fatal injuries among law enforcement officers occur at a rate of 635 per 10,000 full-time officers. This rate is threefold higher than that of other workers in the U.S.
The most common injury events for police officers include:
Assaults or violence (35%)
Transportation accidents (14%)
What to Do If You Are Injured in the Line of Duty
If you are a first responder who has been injured while serving, it is essential to understand your rights and the resources available to you. As an employee, you have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for the harm that you have suffered, securing payments to help with medical care, wage replacement, and even long-term disability.
However, these cases can be complex. After your injury, contact a Denver workplace injury attorney and learn how they can help you secure the benefits you need for recovery and the compensation you deserve.