Welcome to the Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends
The Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST) is a research, education, and practice enterprise at the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, comprised of data scientists, epidemiologists, organizational scientists, and psychologists. FIRST supports the fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis on safety culture, stress, mental health, and injury. FIRST's research and practice responds to the 16 Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives and is inclusive of all fire departments: career, combination, volunteer, urban, and rural. FIRST developed two tools currently in use: the Firefighter Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey and the Stress and Violence against fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER) Systems-Level Checklist.
Dr. Jennifer Taylor, the Arthur L. and Joanne B. Frank Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, is the founding Director of the FIRST Center. FIRST has been working with the United States fire and rescue service since 2007. FIRST Center staff are graduates of Drexel's Masters of Public Health program with 17 years of combined experience working with the fire and rescue service. They are joined by Affiliate Faculty and an Advisory Board of national fire service leaders and scholars. In 2016, the Fire Service Injury, Research, Epidemiology, and Evaluation (FIRE) Fellowship was developed to create the next generation of fire service researchers.
The National Life Safety Initiatives and FIRST
In 2015, FIRST was invited by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) to participate in planning the next research agenda for the United States fire and rescue service. FIRST served on a panel of researchers discussing the application of the 16 initiatives to their work. What follows is a reflection on how the initiatives have guided the FIRST Center's research and how a diversity of funding streams has developed a strong interconnectedness among projects. Arrows connecting one project to another are explained by referring to the corresponding numbers in yellow.
For each project, the Firefighter Life Safety Initiative (FLSI) to which it pertains is highlighted with the following nomenclature: FLSI #1, 2, 3...