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The UK BESECU firefighter study: A study of UK firefighters' emotional, cognitive and behavioural reactions to emergencies

The UK BESECU firefighter study: A study of UK firefighters' emotional, cognitive and behavioural reactions to emergencies

Hulse, Lynn M. ORCID: 0000-0001-5582-3520 and Galea, Edwin R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0001-6665 (2012) The UK BESECU firefighter study: A study of UK firefighters' emotional, cognitive and behavioural reactions to emergencies. In: 5th International Symposium. Human Behaviour in Fire 2012. Symposium Proceedings. Interscience Communications Ltd, Greenwich, London, UK, pp. 86-97. ISBN 978-0-9556548-8-6

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Abstract

A survey of UK firefighters revealed them to be seemingly psychologically prepared for what their job would expose them to but not immune to experiencing emotional arousal or perceived risk during emergency events. A number of aspects, such as the event posing serious consequences to their lives/well-being, were singled out as particularly distressing and linked with greater emotional arousal, while other aspects, ones focused on other people/circumstances, reduced perceived risk. Traffic accidents appeared to be a special case, inducing lower arousal and risk than another commonly attended emergency, domestic fires. More years of service had a positive effect on the risk perceived during a stressful event but heightened the emotional arousal in that moment. Received support was one of the most significant predictors of posttraumatic stress and growth, as well as being significantly linked to peri-event thoughts/feelings, although other variables not tested here, e.g. individual differences, might be better at explaining posttraumatic states than event-related variables. The sample reported that safety work with a risk group, migrants, was underway and appeared to be beneficial in reducing instances of "inappropriate behaviour" during emergencies but communication difficulties were an issue and training on this matter would appear desirable. Significant differences in responses across the UK were detected and consequences for international comparisons are discussed.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: 5th International Symposium. Human Behaviour in Fire 2012. Symposium Proceedings
Additional Information: [1] This paper was first presented at the 5th International Symposium, Human Behaviour in Fire, held from 19-21 September 2012 at Downing College, Cambridge, UK.
Uncontrolled Keywords: behavioural reactions, emergency situations
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:22
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/9166

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