Fire EMS, Firefighter Training, Firefighting

Behavioral Health Training for Fire Rescue Personnel

Issue 12 and Volume 169.

By Bryan L. Steinkopf, Vera A. Klinoff, Vincent B. Van Hasselt, Todd J. Leduc, and Judy Couwels First responders are considered a high-risk occupational group in that they experience a wide variety of physical and mental health-related conditions as a result of their occupational duties.1 Firefighters are exposed to unique stressors resulting from their diverse, dangerous, and potentially traumatic job-related responsibilities.2-3 Overall, firefighters experience more job stress than workers in nonemergency occupations.4-5 The specific job-related stressors reported by firefighters include shift work, managerial or organizational problems, inadequate equipment and insufficient resources,6 exposure to hazardous materials,7 a polarized work environment (i.e., shifting from mundane tasks to emergency responding), lack of control over their day-to-day schedules, the need for rapid and precise decision making, and having to convey tragic news. In addition to shifts of 10, 14, and 24 hours, many firefighters work more than 40 hours per week8 and routinely work…

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