Assessment of wildland firefighter opinions and experiences related to incident medical providers

Mark Hoffman, Valerie Moody, Viktor E. Bovbjerg, Isabella Callis, Zachary Snauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Medical services for wildland fire incidents are vital and fire personnel need to be comfortable seeking care and have adequate access to care. Aims: The aim of this study was to examine wildland firefighters' (WLFFs) attitudes towards, opinions of and experiences with the medical services on fire assignments. Methods: A survey was used to collect information from WLFFs. The survey covered: (1) demographics, (2) injury descriptions, (3) trust/respect toward medical personnel, and (4) perceived impact of injury treatment on individual and team deployability. Analysis used contingency tables with chi-square tests to compare groups. Key results: WLFFs in both groups respect and trust incident medical personnel. Private firefighters compared with agency firefighters report a perception of less access to care, a high level of discouragement to seek care, and a greater concern that seeking care could result in being removed from the incident. Conclusions: Although respect and trust are high, there are concerning perceived differences between groups on several aspects of seeking and receiving medical care. Implications: Policy changes and culture shifts may be needed to narrow the opinion and perception gaps between private and agency firefighters on multiple aspects of incident medical services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1268
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Wildland Fire
Volume32
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 2023

Keywords

  • access to care
  • injury prevention
  • injury reporting
  • occupational injury
  • respect
  • tactical athlete
  • trust
  • wildland firefighter

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