Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Fire departments-Officials and employees-Psychology, Fire fighters-Job stress, Fire fighters-Psychology, Emergency medical technicians-Job stress, Emergency medical technicians-Psychology, Allied health personnel-Job stress, Allied health personnel-Psychology, Adjustment (Psychology), Post-traumatic stress disorder, Psychological debriefing, Occupational stress, PTSD, Critical incident, Stress debriefing, Emergency medical services, Paramedics, Social work, Coping skills, Fire services, Ambulance, Car accidents, Combination department, Rural fire department, Full-time firefighters, On-call firefighters


This project was conducted to explore co-relational patterns between occupational stressors, coping skills, and self care practices among combination fire department employees. This population is defined as being one in which has minimal full-time coverage and relies on on-call groups during the evening and early hours of the day to respond to fire suppression and/or medically related 911 emergency calls. This qualitative study included ten participants from the New England area who all identified as being over the age of eighteen, identified as male, and could speak and read English fluently. Participants were asked to respond to demographic questions, and then responded to several open ended questions about the occupational stressors that they experience, how they cope with the tragedies that they encounter, and how do they take care of themselves both physically and mentally. The findings showed that firefighters had significant stress related to their job as combination firefighters. Self-care and coping mechanisms were also reviewed.




iii, 82 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 74-75)