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Taylor Receives FEMA Grant to Expand Development of Firefighter Injury Data

July 23, 2013

Jennifer TaylorDr. Jennifer A. Taylor, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Drexel University School of Public Health, was awarded a three year, $1 million grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to continue and expand her work to research and develop the components of a non-fatal firefighter injury data system. 

The Firefighter Injury and Safety Trends Reliability Study (FIRST-RS) will test the reliability of findings from a previously awarded FEMA grant, Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST), to examine if the initial data architecture can be replicated successfully in additional states and fire departments across the United States. Information from available data systems will be united into a core data set describing firefighter injuries accurately and consistently at local levels. By reliably reproducing these methods with new partners, we will have confirmatory proof of the components necessary to establish a realistic national data system.

“Current firefighter injury data are not generalizable, reliable, or reproducible, and therefore cannot serve as a basis for devising new safety policies or evaluating the benefit of safety interventions,” said Dr. Taylor, who serves as the principal investigator of the grant. "The grant will help us to advance injury prevention and occupational health programs for firefighters nationwide."

Lead by researchers at the School of Public Health, FIRST-RS is a collaborative effort among firefighters, national fire service organizations, researchers, and government surveillance experts. The Philadelphia Fire Department and the Florida State Fire Marshall’s office will continue to serve as sites for development of the data architecture and dictionary as the project expand to new fire departments and states.

Dr. Taylor received a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management. She obtained a Master’s of Public Health degree in Health Services from the Boston University School of Public Health. The new award builds on Dr. Taylor’s career achievements as an expert in injury prevention, healthcare quality improvement, and occupational safety.