Resilience among first responders
Background. Emergency rescue personnel can be considered a ‘‘high risk\'\' occupational group in that they could experience a broad range of health and mental health consequences as a result of work-related exposures to critical incidents. Objectives. This study examined the resilience factors that protect mental health among first responders.
Methods. Nine hundred and sixty-one first responders filled out an on-line questionnaire, containing measure of sense of community, collective efficacy, self-efficacy and work-related mental health outcomes (compassion fatigue, burnout and compassion satisfaction).
Results. First responders reported high level of compassion satisfaction and low level of burnout and compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue was predicted by self-efficacy, burnout was predicted by self-efficacy, collective efficacy and sense of community, compassion satisfaction was predicted by self-efficacy and sense of community. Conclusions. Resilience following critical events is common among first responders. Self-efficacy, collective efficacy and sense of community could be considered resilience factors that preserve first responders\' work-related mental health.
African Health Sciences Vol. 8 Special Edition 2008: pp. S14-S20