Transcending adversity: resilience in volunteer firefighters

Blaney, L.M., Wilde, D. ORCID: 0000-0001-7416-4348 and Hill, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-2938-8825, 2020. Transcending adversity: resilience in volunteer firefighters. International Journal of Emergency Services. ISSN 2047-0894

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a theory of psychological resilience in volunteer firefighters.

Design/methodology/approach: Using a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) approach, the qualitative study engaged a purposive sample of eight firefighters in Canada, conducted in-depth interviews and analysed the data using comparative methods.

Findings: The results provided unique insights into resilience in firefighters and revealing resilience as multidimensional, complex, dynamic and contextual. Six core concepts interrelate to construct resilience: relationships, personal resources, meaning-making, leadership, culture and knowledge.

Practical implications: The findings of this research offer a framework for practical integration of resilience theory into workplace health policy and practice. The theory was co-created with firefighters hence is contextually sound to this population, but applicable to other emergency and health services.

Originality/value: Volunteer firefighters are under-represented in the literature, despite facing intermittent and frequently intense work-related stressors; this research begins to address the gap in the literature. As well, previous resilience theories have noted relationships between some components, but there is little evidence linking categories; this theory more patently represents the complex nature of resilience in volunteer firefighters.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Emergency Services
Creators: Blaney, L.M., Wilde, D. and Hill, R.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 8 December 2020
ISSN: 2047-0894
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 10 Feb 2021 15:52
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:06

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