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Accumulative stress response in female emergency service first responders

A mixed-methods research study examining factors that predict the recruitment, retention and the mental health and wellbeing of Australian female emergency services personnel.

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First responders face a unique set of challenges

Recent research suggests that first responders face a unique set of challenges (shiftwork, exposure to potentially traumatic events) that can have a negative impact on their personal and professional lives. Much of this research however is focused on male dominated workforces with limited analysis of factors impacting on female first responders specifically. It is particularly important to understand the experiences of female first responders, and how this shapes retention and recruitment of females in the emergency services sector. This project is comprised of three separate but interrelated studies:

1. A qualitive study of workforce composition, performance, and wellbeing of South Australian Metropolitan Firefighters.

2. A quantitative study of the impact of work, family, and personal factors on female first responder health and wellbeing.

3. A mixed methods systematic review of factors Influencing the recruitment/retention/transition of female and male first responder workforces

This study is open to all female first responders across Australia. Data collection for this study is now closed with results to be released early 2022.

For more information, please contact Helen Frazer: [email protected]

  • Team/Investigators

    Helen Frazer (University of Adelaide), Associate Professor Miranda Van Hooff (Military and Emergency Services and Health Australia (MESHA)), Dr Ellie Lawrence-Wood (Phoenix Australia), Dr Amelia Searle (Flinders University)

  • Funding Body

    Snowdrops Hope for PTSD: Australian Medical Women’s Memorial Research Fund-The Phoebe Chapple Memorial Research Scholarship

  • Year Commenced

    February 2018

  • Expected Completion Date

    June 2022

  • Contribution

    Investigator (Associate Professor Miranda Van Hooff), Funder (MESHA, formally The Road Home)

  • MeSH Terms

    prevalence, rates, mental health, emergency service, first responder, wellbeing, help-seeking, support, female, firefighter, recruitment, retention, well-being, family, risk factors, protective factors, review

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