The Experiences of Rural Volunteer Firefighters: a Mixed-Methods Approach.

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  • Previous studies have examined the motivations, characteristics, and health outcomes of volunteer and paid firefighters. No research to date, however, has examined these psychological outcomes and their implications for role perception in firefighters who work in rural Canadian settings. The present study analyzed the experiences of volunteer firefighters in rural jurisdictions to understand their motivations, experiences of the role, and the well-being outcomes of the participants. A mixed-methods approach was employed, utilizing phenomenological analysis of interview transcripts as well as a Volunteer Firefighter Job Design Scale (VFJDS) to assess the reports of volunteers in rural stations in Alberta. The VFJDS highlighted a diversity of volunteer activities that extended beyond fire related incidents and reflected their rural environment. Review of the transcripts revealed five themes that defined the experiences of the participants: community support, camaraderie, personal factors, humanizing the hero image, role clarity, and community support. These findings have implications for the strategies of recruitment officers and trauma service providers.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International