Fire and Rescue Services: Suicide

Home Office written question – answered on 8th May 2019.

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Photo of Luke Pollard Luke Pollard Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information his Department holds on the number of fire fighters who have taken their own lives in each of the last ten years.

Photo of Nick Hurd Nick Hurd The Minister of State, Home Department

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes suicide statistics for the UK for each calendar year. The latest available figures were published by ONS in September 2018 and covered calendar years up to 2017[1].

Table 1 below provides the number of deaths caused by suicide in firefighters of a working age (20-64 years old) based on information attained on the death certificate. Please note, data on firefighters in managerial roles has also been provided but this category also includes senior officers in ambulance, prison and related services.

Year

Fire service officers

Senior officers in fire, ambulance, prison and related services

2008

6

0

2009

5

2

2010

3

1

2011

9

0

2012

3

0

2013

7

3

2014

9

2

2015

10

0

2016

6

0

2017

5

0

Source: Office for National Statistics

Box 1. International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes used to define suicide

ICD-10 codes

Description

X60-X84

Intentional self-harm

Table 1: Deaths caused by suicide in fire service officers and senior officers in fire, ambulance, prison and related services, aged 20 to 64 years, England and Wales, deaths registered 2008 to 2017[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2017registrations

[2]Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). This includes all deaths from intentional self-harm for persons aged 10 years and over, and deaths where the intent was undetermined for those aged 15 years and over. The ICD codes used to select the deaths are show in Box 1.

[3]Figures are for those aged 20 to 64 years based on usual working age. However, information from the death certificate does not ascertain if the individual was actively in work or retired.

[4]Figures for England and Wales include the deaths of non-residents.

[5]Figures are for deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring in each calendar year. Due to the length of time it takes to complete a coroner’s inquest, it can take months or even years for a suicide to be registered. More details can be found in the ‘Suicides in the UK’ statistical bulletin.

[6]Occupations defined using the Standard Occupation Classification (v.2010). 'Fire service officers' are defined by SOC code 3313 and 'Senior officers in fire, ambulance and prison related services' are defined by SOC code 1173. For information on the classification hierarchy, follow the link below:

Information on the Standard Occupation Classification

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