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Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST)

Welcome to the Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends project (FIRST). FIRST is a research enterprise organized to support the United States fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis. For those of you familiar with our work at Drexel, you may know FIRST as an individual project. Indeed, that is how our research started.

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Since 2007, our work with United States fire and rescue service has grown. Therefore, we re-branded FIRST to reflect this growth. From now on, the term FIRST unites all of our work in firefighter injury research and safety trends.

Our current projects include

  1. Fire department organizational safety climate assessment (safety culture).
  2. Nonfatal injury data system development for firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics (formerly known as FIRST). 
  3. Assaults to paramedics and EMTs.
  4. Consulting with the International Association of Fire Fighters on the development of Youth Fire-setting information Repository & Evaluation System (YFIRES).

On this website you will find our current research activities, past projects, and introductions to our team and advisory board.  Feel free to download reports, publications, and interact with our multiple media tools. We also offer fee-based consultation and research services.

Most importantly, we want to hear from you. Please use the contact form to tell us about issues important to your safety and health, or give feedback on any of our research findings.  We will contact you to learn more.  Stay safe and thank you for your service.

Past projects

Our past projects focused on near-miss events in the fire and rescue service, and our first in-depth investigation of a minimum data set for non-fatal firefighter injury.

Data and Confidentiality

Both Drexel University and our primary funder, the Federal Emergency Management Agency have protocols which ensure the protection of information collected from participants and databases during a research project. These protocols include evaluation of our plan to protect human subjects by the Drexel Institutional Review Board and the Department of Homeland Security Regulatory Compliance Office; required training for project staff regarding appropriate research procedures and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); data security; and legal review of research protocol and documentation. All project staff have successfully passed examinations on appropriate conduct of research and data security protocols. This project has also been reviewed by the University’s legal counsel and privacy office.