Ambulance Crashes Blamed for Deaths of Nine EMS Responders in 2012

Ambulance crashes killed nine of the 21 EMS responders who died last year.

Statistics, compiled by the National EMS Memorial Service, show there were 19 deaths in 2011.

Heart attacks, which were the leading cause of deaths of EMS personnel in 2011, are still the primary killer of firefighters. Last year, 36 of the 83 who died suffered cardiac arrest, according to USFA statistics.

Three people were killed in a medevac helicopter crash in Illinois last year, and a veteran search and rescue technician died when his chopper went down.

Others who perished serving their communities last year included a provider who was struck while assisting at the scene of a crash along a highway, and another who died of traumatic injuries after he fell from an overpass after climbing over a barrier.

Two FDNY EMS providers who worked at the World Trade Center site in New York City died of exposure-related issues in 2012.

Two others suffered their own fatal medical emergencies while assisting patients, while another responder died of a job-related spinal injury. One person was killed in a wreck after leaving work.

Fallen heroes are remembered during an annual memorial service in Colorado Springs.

The 21st Annual National EMS Memorial Service will take place on June 22 at 6:00 pm MDT at the Pikes Peak Center in Colorado Springs.