All except 17 (1.7%) of 990 fire fighters employed by the Western Australian Fire Brigade between 1 October 1939 and 31 December 1978 were successfully followed up to 31 December 1978. Mortality from all causes was less than expected (SMR 0.80 with 95% confidence interval 0.67 to 0.96). There was evidence of the healthy worker effect but none that mortality increased with increasing duration of employment. A small proportional excess of deaths from road traffic accidents ( SPMR 1.66) appeared to be unrelated to fire service. Deaths from other accidents, poisonings, and violence were significantly less than expected (SMR 0.35 with 95% confidence interval 0.10 to 0.90) and may indicate an effect of training and experience on accident proneness. There was no evidence of increased mortality from cardiovascular or respiratory disease, or from any other cause.
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