"The Firefighter Autopsy Protocol has been extensively revised since its original 1994 edition. In this new protocol, a number of additional areas of information have been provided to take into account emerging issues and new technologies as applied to the conduct of autopsies. As stated in the report, it is recommended that autopsies be performed for all firefighter fatalities where a line-of-duty death has occurred. It is further recommended that an autopsy be performed when a non-line-of-duty death may be linked to a line-of-duty exposure. Specific sections have been provided in this report as background and areas of information as related to the conducting of autopsies. General autopsy procedures must be supplemented with additional analyses and reviews in order to ascertain specific causes and mechanisms of death and to add to the body of knowledge for understanding firefighter fatalities which, in turn, helps to prevent future firefighter fatalities. […]. The utility of this specific firefighter autopsy protocol is intended to advance the analysis of the causes of firefighter deaths to aid in the development of improved firefighter health and safety equipment, procedures, and standards. It also is critical in helping to determine eligibility for death benefits under the Federal government's Public Safety Officer Benefits (PSOB) Program, as well as State and local programs. Lastly, implementation of this protocol will increase interest in the study of deaths as related to occupational illnesses among firefighters, both active and retired."
U.S. Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/