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Fire Service Injury Research, Epidemiology, & Evaluation (FIRE) Fellowship

2019 class of Fire fellows visits a fire station
A class of FIRE Fellows with a member of the fire service

The Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) developed the inaugural Fire Service Injury Research, Epidemiology, and Evaluation (FIRE) Fellowship in 2016.

This Fellowship—which is unique to the Dornsife School of Public Health—gives students the opportunity to work with and serve community partners with real world data and get immersed in the fire service through field experiences.

Fellowship recipients, or “FIRE Fellows,” collaborate on analysis of fire service data using both quantitative and qualitative methods.

Many Fellows use this unique summer immersion program as a practicum to fulfill their required Applied Practical Experience (APE), and many continue this work as their second year master's thesis.

Meet the Alumni

The FIRE Fellowship is a ten-week, paid, full time, summer intensive training period that gives Fellows the opportunity to work on all currently funded projects, and Fellows will be given a specific project to call their own.

The FIRE Fellowship gives Fellows the opportunity to learn and be trained in:

  • Qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Data management
  • Preparing and communicating survey results with community partners
  • Working and building relationships with stakeholders
  • Injury classification systems such as ICD-9-CM and WCIO
  • Haddon, Barell, and E-code matrix use and applications
  • Exploratory data analyses
  • Advanced statistical analyses

Fellows also receive the opportunity to develop the following professional competencies:

  • Collaboration over competition
  • Hierarchy of help
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Leading teams
  • Public speaking
  • Remote work skills

"The most important lessons I learned from my Fellowship have been the most unexpected ones," said FIRE Fellow Inaya Wahid, MPH. "They were not about data analysis or synthesizing literature; rather, they were about how to effectively and empathetically work with others."

Added FIRE Fellow Yazid Barhoush, MPH, "The FIRE Fellowship is more than an internship--it is designed with the student in mind. It's a holistic experience that will transform your knowledge and skills."

FIRE fellows visiting a fire station

FIRE Fellowship Application Criteria FAQ

What type of research does the FIRST Center conduct?

The FIRST Center conducts research in several areas, including:

  1. Stress and violence in fire-based EMS responders
  2. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the fire and rescue service
  3. Organizational safety climate assessment
  4. Mental health concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic
  5. Policy research and practice
  6. Non-fatal injury data system development

When is the FIRE Fellowship?

The Fellowship takes place in the summer. The 2023 Fellowship began on Tuesday, June 20th, and ended on Friday, August 25th.

Who can apply for the Fellowship?

* Graduates of the MPH program may experience difficulty obtaining Optional Practical Training (OPT). Please contact the FIRST Center if you are interested in applying for the Fellowship and would need OPT.

What skills do I need?

  • Knowledge in social science, policy, and/or epidemiology are encouraged to apply
  • Previous EMT or firefighter experience is helpful, but not necessary
  • Will need to complete CITI and HIPAA IRB trainings prior to beginning the fellowship

What other requirements are there?

  • Fellows must commit to on-campus presence during the summer intensive training period (40 hours per week)
  • Fellows may have the opportunity to continue this work with mentorship from FIRST as their second year ILE upon receiving a fellowship position (priority will be given to those who are willing to continue this work)

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2023 FIRE Fellowship are CLOSED. Stay tuned for 2024 updates!

For more information or questions regarding the FIRE Fellowship, please contact Project Manager of Education & Training, Alexandra Fisher at

Fire fellow on a fire boat