• Finding first responders: working with police, fire, and emergency medical professionals

      Donnelly, Elizabeth A. (Elizabeth Anne); Barber, Brad W. (2017-10)
    • Helping the Rescuers: Challenges and Rewards of Working with Public Safety - Fairfax County

      Theodore-Dalton, Maia; Best, William, Captain; Fairfax County, Virginia. Fire and Rescue Department. Behavioral Health Office (2017-06-26)
    • Helping the Rescuers: Challenges and Rewards of Working with Public Safety - New York City

      Perrotta, Brittany (2020)
      AGENDA: - Understanding the First Responder culture; - Work environment and personal/interpersonal stressors of First Responders; - Differences between working with First Responders vs. civilians; - Effective strategies and key therapeutic approaches to use with First Responders
    • Mental health and mindfulness amongst Australian fire fighters

      Counson, Isabelle; Hosemans, Dominic; Lal, Tara J.; Mott, Brendan; Harvey, Samuel B.; Joyce, Sadhbh (Springer Nature, 2019)
      Background: While extensive research has highlighted the positive mental health outcomes associated with mindfulness, little work has examined how mindfulness may protect the mental health of first responders exposed to trauma. This is important as there is increasing evidence that mindfulness skills, if protective, can be taught to groups of at-risk workers. The purpose of the current research was to examine the potential role mindfulness may have in supporting the mental health of Australian fire fighters. -- Methods: The sample consisted of 114 professional fire fighters who completed demographic and job-related questions followed by measures of mindfulness (FMI-14), well-being (WHO-5), depression (HADS-D) and anxiety (HADS-A). Hierarchical multiple linear regressions were performed to determine whether levels of mindfulness were associated with anxiety, depression and wellbeing after accounting for age and number of years of fire service. -- Results: High levels of mindfulness were associated with decreased depression (p ≤ .001) and anxiety (p ≤ .001) as well as increased psychological well-being (p ≤ .001). Measures of mindfulness were able to explain a substantial amount of the variability in well-being (26.8%), anxiety (23.6%) and depression (22.4%), regardless of age and years of fire service. -- Conclusions: The present study provides evidence for robust associations between dispositional mindfulness and mental health markers of depression, anxiety and well-being in Australian fire fighters recently exposed to trauma. Mindfulness is a psychological characteristic that may be able to be modified, although further research is required to substantiate these findings and to formally test mindfulness interventions. Such studies would allow greater insight into the underlying mechanisms through which mindfulness may exert its beneficial effects.
    • Recognizing and Combating Firefighter Stress

      Norwood, P. J.; Rascati, James N. (FireEngineering.com, 2012-12)
      Over the past few years there has been a positive trends in firefighter training: firefighter awareness; and instructors' writing, teaching and preaching toward firefighter fitness. It is a topic that had been taboo for many years in the fire service. Many firefighters across the country are focusing on their level of fitness , and many departments have put mechanisms and programs in place that encourage weight loss and increased physical fitness. However, although the fitness drum is being beaten, there is still an area of firefighter wellness that is not being discussed. Firefighter stress and post traumatic stress disorder ( PTSD) are real threats to the American fire service.
    • Relationships, Personal Factors and Work Conditions As Sources Of Stress For Fire Department Employees: An Analysis of Employee and Spouse Perspectives

      Attridge, Mark; Lapp, Joni; Jackson, Ruth (1996-07)
      This study identifies and prioritizes aspects of work and personal life as sources of stress for employees of a city fire department. Surveys were completed by employees (n = 147) and their romantic partners (n = 62). A total of 22 of 33 areas were rated as stressful by a third or more of employees, including personal life areas of maintaining relationships with a romantic partner, with children, and caring for elders. Few significant differences were found between employee and partner perspectives on what was stressful for the employee. When asked to judge the stress level of areas as experienced by other employees, 10 areas were thought to be more stressful for others than for oneself. Implications for coping processes are discussed. Study conducted by Optum Employee Assistance Program for Minneapolis Fire Department (Minnesota).
    • The Risks and Rewards of Marriage for Fire Fighters: A Literature Review with Implications for EAP

      Torres, Victoria A.; Synett, Samantha J.; Pennington, Michelle L.; Kruse, Marc; Sanford, Keith; Gulliver, Suzy B. (Employee Assistance Society of North America (EASNA), 2016-08)
      EAPs may be able to better support fire fighters and their families if more is known about the marital and occupational stressors of this at-risk population. We conducted a review of literature to answer several questions. First, what is the actual rate of divorce among people working in fire service? Second, what factors relate to marital stability among fire fighters and is marital relationship predictive of job satisfaction, job safety, and overall job success in fire service? Lastly, are marital enrichment or relationship support programs in place in fire service families, and, if so, are they effective? Over 20 scholarly research works were examined that addressed marriage among fire fighters. Surprisingly, we could find empirical data on only the first question with the other questions largely missing as topics in the literature. Both U.S. census data and a large survey found rates of divorce for male fire fighters in the range of 12-14%, which was similar to national averages at the time. Other data was found on fire fighter family challenges, the spouses of fire fighters, and the marriages of volunteer fire fighters. Advances in counseling and other behavioral health services for fire fighters are also identified. Suggestions for EAP practice and future research are provided.
    • Size up: What EA professionals should know before working with first responders

      Herlihy, Patricia; Rascati, James N.; Dalton-Theodore, Maia (2022-03-24)
      Law enforcement has always been one of the more stressful occupations in our society that is even more true today with COVID-19 and recent social unrest. It is not surprising that the rates of divorce, substance abuse, Acute Stress Disorder, PTSD and suicide are far higher in law enforcement than in the civilian population. This session will focus on learning successful strategies to engage rank and file officers in services to support their mental health needs. In addition, it will focus on specific skills to increase EAP consultation to command staff regarding training, critical incident response and other organizational issues. This panel is composed of a police officer, an expert EA Professional who works with law enforcement and a family member of a police family. These different backgrounds and orientations each offer their unique perspective with the main objective to enhance EAP services to meet the needs of the men and women who protect and serve our communities.
    • UPFRONT: Support for First Responders

      Dyme, Bernard S.; Venturini, Taylor (2021-03-09)
      Webinar focused on supporting mental health concerns of first responders. The focus was on teaching others about the first responder heroes, how they react to stress and trauma, and their need for mental health support. The three person panel discussed a range of options that can serve the needs of individuals, departments and leadership, Specifically they addressed: Mental health assessments or check-ins; Peer support programs and Leadership training, including unconscious bias, de-escalation and diversity, equity and inclusion