First responder deaths in Arizona reach record high in 2021
PHOENIX – When a first responder takes the oath to protect and serve the community, they understand the risk that comes with it.
That risk has been abundantly clear this year in Arizona as first responder deaths have hit a record high.
The 100 Club of Arizona since the beginning of 2021 has provided financial support to the families of 50 fallen first responders across the state, regardless of the death being considered in the line-of-duty or not.
Just 12 of the 50 deaths have been considered line-of-duty, meaning they were sudden or tragic deaths caused by something like a shooting or traffic accident while on duty.
Four first responders died from occupational cancer or suicide and a staggering 26 died from complications of COVID-19.
“It used to be like, we had a line-of-duty death and the world would focus all of their effort to support that family and that department,” 100 Club of Arizona CEO Angela Harrolle told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday. “I just think the numbers are so high that it’s very hard for us to continue to receive support.”
Harrolle fears what the remainder of the year could bring for first responder deaths as they’ve already seen an unprecedented amount of support needed from families of the fallen.
She said the 100 Club of Arizona often budgets for three to seven line-of-duty deaths a year.
More information about the 100 Club of Arizona or how to donate money to help first responders and their families can be found online.