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FIRST Announces the 2018 FIRE Fellows: Receives 1.5 Million Grant

Group of individual standing next to a fire engine

May 10, 2018

The Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST), led by Jennifer Taylor, PhD, MPH, CPPS of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, is proud to announce the 2018 recipients of the Fire Service Injury Research, Epidemiology and Evaluation Fellowship. “FIRE Fellows” are Drexel colleagues from various Dornsife School of Public Health departments who analyze data for fire departments and learn about the fire service through field immersion.

While each member of this year’s class will focus on an individual project, the overall emphasis will be on the Center’s new, $1.5 million Stress and Violence in fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER) Grant.  The purpose of the grant is to investigate the stress and violence endured by fire-based emergency responders. The grant comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS. This is the first time FEMA research and development funding has addressed the emergency medical services (EMS) aspect of fire, even though EMS accounts for as much as 70-90 percent of the work. The SAVER study seeks to determine the predictors of fire-based EMS responder injury and stress.

The 2018 FIRE Fellowship recipients (pictured are (from left to right):

Leah Popek, MPH(c) 2019, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

Kendall Seigworth, MPH(c) 2019, Department of Community Health and Prevention

Killian Rohn, MPH(c) 2019, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Neva Novinger, MPH(c) 2019, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The FIRST Center is a research enterprise organized to support the United States fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis. The 10-week paid FIRE fellowship is supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighter Grants program.

The FIRST Center has three distinct research areas to address injuries in the fire service: 1) SAVER – Stress and Violence to fire-based EMS Responders:  quantifying violence and developing a checklist intervention, 2) FOCUS - Firefighter Organizational Culture of Safety: an industry specific instrument to measure safety climate within fire departments, 3) IDEA –Injury Data Evaluation and Analysis: building non-fatal injury data systems for fire departments.

Fellows will be trained in quantitative and qualitative methods, data management and analysis, injury classification systems, stakeholder engagement, and professional development.

The fellows will be mentored by: FIRST Center Director, Jennifer Taylor; Senior Project Manager, Andrea Davis, MPH (2012), CPH; EMS Project Manager, Regan Murray, MPH (2017); Outreach & Communications Manager, Lauren Shepler, MPH (2015); and alumni of the 2016 and 2017 classes of FIRE Fellows.

For more information, contact: Lauren Shepler, at: