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Cops or firemen, who has the most dangerous job?
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Cops or firemen, who has the most dangerous job?


I am a fire fighter and sheriff deputy. The only reason i say police officers jobs are more dangerous is because we have to be cautious even when we not on a call. gang bangers target us when we not workin at our home also.

Really I think they are both equal as to being dangerous. A cop puts his life on the line everytime he investigates a crime. And a fireman puts his life on the line everytime he fights a fire.

It used to be the Firefighter and it probably still is. More firefighters die in the line of duty than police officers the reason being that they die of heart attacks . They push their bodies beyond normal limits every time they face the beast and some times it's one time too many.
Retired firefighter.

Chris C
Fire behaves in a certain way. It always burns upwards, you know at what point it will flashover. Firemen know at what temperature certain materials and chemicals will explode at. If there is no threat to life firemen don't have to enter a burning structure.

Police officers on the other hand deal with the most dangerous animals of all. The human being. Unpredictable, savage in nature, brutal and cunning.

Picture this scenario if you will. A cop goes into a grocery store for a bottle of water. Standing in line in front of the officer is a man that just committed a robbery and killed his victim. The police officer has no way of knowing this yet the criminal is convinced that the cop is on to him. In an effort to avoid capture the perp gets the jump on the cop never giving him a chance. All the cop wanted was a bottle of water.

Fireman risk their lives to on a situational basis.
Cops risk their lives just by putting on the uniform.

I don't know, but I think I'd rather be a fireman than a cop. I would never want to be a cop and have to deal with the people they have to deal with on a daily basis.

Crazy lady
firemen because a fire is really unpredictable.

I've pondered this quite a bit; here's my take on it.

Firefighters (there are women doing this ya know) face more actual or "known" dangers and threats. There is no question in anyone's mind that the building in on fire when smoke and flames are coming out of it.

Law enforcement officers (LEOs) face more potential or "unknown" dangers and threats. LEOs never know if they are going to get into a gun fight on their next traffic stop or if they'll be shot at when they arrive at an alarm call. The LEO has to be constantly on guard, even if things feel safe or the person is being compliant.

While firefighers face more actual dangers, there aren't as many firefighters killed in the line of duty as LEOs since the 1970s (with very few years being exceptions). Because of psychological stress of staying alert and the adrenaline rushes that LEOs have to deal with; police work is probably more emotionally stressful than firefighting. Firefighting is more phsyically demanding than police work so firefighters have more physical stress from carrying heavy gear and draggin heay fire hoses up flights of stairs and carrying injured people.

Side Note:
Firefighters saw a dramatic change in how they do business starting in the 1970s with the adoption of the Incident Command System that helps to ensure firefighters don't get left behind or fail to be notified when it's time to evacuate.

LEOs saw a drop in line of duty deaths with the widespread use of soft body armor.

Stephen K
Hard to say.

Cops get shot at.

Well, so do some fireman

Both are the most dangerous job.

Depends on the city.

Detroit , Chicago, NYC, L.A.= Police Officers have more dangerous jobs.

Basically anywhere else, it's more dangerous to be a fire fighter. (Women fight fires too and save millions of lives)

Dangers faced by officers include death (people with guns, traffic, high speed chases), increased risk of infectious diseases, increased risk of physical injury, and the potential for emotional disorder due to both the high stress and inherently adversarial nature of police work

Its hard to say. Depends on lots of things. like location, department, training etc.

I'm a cop, but respect the work firefighters do and the sacrifices they make.

They both have unique and inherent dangers. Comparing them is like apples and oranges.
I have the utmost respect for firefighters (male & female) and the work they do. It's hard, intensely physical, and often terrifying.
So is police work. Just in a different way.

I would say cops, because the police man could be targeted any time maybe even while he's not aware of it , but firemen at least know when the danger begins and stop.

Brenda P
Equally dangerous in different ways.

I'd say it is an even match. Both are dangerous in their own respects. Both can kill the officer, the person they are protecting / rescuing, and/or cause property damage.


Police officers can train to avoid many of the pitfalls that face them but its harder for firemen. Statistics also bear out that firemen are killed more often then police officers (though this has changed in the last 20 years thanks to training).

Firemen by far !

Robert S
Many cops are on the scene anyway, but. How many firemen have to make life/death decisions. They may be pretty close as far a danger goes. Likelihood of dying in explosion or fire vs. likelihood of getting shot... The intent of shooting is usually death. In a fire, there is no conscience. No intent to kill. A fireman can choose to enter a burning building or not to. A cop may not have the decision to face an armed assailant or not. He is expected to do so.

Between the two, clearly cops have the most stressful job. Maybe not daily. But the job covers the widest range on the stress spectrum.

music man

The likelihood of either a cop or a fireman getting killed on the job is statistically quite low. They never even made it to the top 10 world's most dangerous jobs. A commercial fisherman, truck driver, or even a garbageman is far more likely to get killed on the job.


Fishers and related fishing workers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 118.4
Average salary: $29,000 per year

Logging workers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 92.9
Average salary: $31,290 per year

Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 66.9
Average salary: $135,040

Structural iron and steel workers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 55.6
Average salary: $43,540

Refuse and recyclable material collectors
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 43.8
Average salary: $30,160

Farmers and ranchers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 41.1
Average salary: $39,720

Electrical power-line installers and repairers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 32.7
Average salary: $49,200

Truck drivers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 29.1
Average salary: $35,460 (for heavy or tractor-trailer drivers)

Miscellaneous agricultural workers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 23.2
Average salary: $24,140

Construction laborers
Fatality rate (per 100,000 workers): 22.7
Average salary: $29,050

that's easy firemen did you forget 9-11

As Real As It Gets
Fire Police!

Neither. Both run pretty substantial risks, but murder and accident statistics show that the most dangerous job is still driving a cab. With seasonal employment as a King Crab fisherman running a close second.

There is some overlap. Many New York cops moonlight as cab drivers and sometimes get into gun battles with each other over fender benders.

Maxwell Richardson
Definitely firemen. A fireman risks life and death on a daily basis while policemen usually hand out parking tickets and sometimes come across someone acting irrationally. Although you could argue that firemen are more betterly protected against fire than policemen are against criminals, I would say fire is more unpredictable than a man in crisis.

How many fire trucks do you see outside doughnut shops?
I think that pretty well sums this up.

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