Firefighters are dying more from health and wellness issues than from fires. Heart attack accounts for roughly 50% of on-duty deaths. Off-duty deaths from cancer and suicide far outnumber heart attack deaths. These three health and wellness issues have been a focus of fire service research as potential job-related issues. However, like the U.S. general population, these three health and wellness issues are highly preventable if the lifestyle risk factors involved are addressed early. This research was conducted for Howard County Fire and Rescue (HCFR) in Howard County, Maryland. HCFR has roughly 500 career firefighters and roughly 500 volunteer firefighters. It is in central Maryland and serves over 320,000 citizens. HCFR firefighters did not have access to initial or continuing health and wellness education. The overarching focus of this research was to understand what knowledge, motivation, and organizational factors were needed to develop a health and wellness educational curriculum, and what the solutions to those needs might be. The participants of this study included 47 members of the Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health, which included field and headquarters personnel. A mixed methods research study included document analysis, surveys, and interviews. While HCFR had knowledge, motivation, and organizational assets, development was needed in knowledge and organizational factors for a health and wellness educational curriculum to be developed and delivered. National consideration should be given to record and disseminate what initial and continuing health and wellness education is available to firefighters either from the state training agency, or the fire department.
|Commitee:||Canny, Eric, Datta, Monique, Dreisbach, Christopher, Harnett, Christina|
|School:||University of Southern California|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Public Health Education, Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior|
|Keywords:||Academy, Cancer, Cardiac, Firefighter, Mental health, Prevention|
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