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Our Projects

Injury Data Evaluation & Analysis (IDEA)

The Injury Data Evaluation and Analysis (IDEA) project is a follow up study to the Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) project. The FIRST & IDEA projects were created to research and develop the minimum data elements necessary to conduct public health surveillance of non-fatal firefighter injuries in the United States.

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Fire Service Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS)

The culture around safety in any organization is a strong predictor of injuries. Safety climate is the measurable aspect of organizational safety culture and has been used by other industries such as healthcare, construction, and manufacturing to gauge and improve safety performance. Until recently the US fire service lacked a reliable and valid instrument to measure its specific safety climate. In 2012, FEMA funded the Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) at Drexel University to develop an industry-specific firefighter safety culture survey. 132 fire departments participated in the beta-test version of the survey, and a validated survey tool - the Firefighter Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey - was developed. In 2016, Drexel University partnered with the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) and was awarded a FEMA FP&S grant to move research into practice through dissemination of the survey tool.

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What we offer

Stress and Violence in fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER)

While much of the work by the Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) has focused on the injury and safety outcomes of firefighters, our research focus has grown to be inclusive of fire-based Emergency Medical Services (EMS). In the United States, EMS is responsible for as much as 70 to 90 percent of the work done by fire departments. With calls increasing approximately 20% each year (NEMSIS, 2016), EMS responders are increasingly expected to do more with less. Increased call volume and exposure to patients increases the risk for injury and illness for EMS responders.

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Near-Miss Reporting

In occupational safety research, narrative text analysis has been combined with coded surveillance data to improve identification and understanding of injuries and their circumstances. Injury data give information about incidence and the direct cause of an injury, while near-miss data enable the identification of various hazards within an organization or industry. Further, near-miss data provide an opportunity for surveillance and risk reduction. 

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Data and Confidentiality

Our team has protocols that 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 (Drexel IRB) and any other required agency(s) (e.g. Department of Homeland Security Regulatory Compliance Office, etc.); 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. All research projects that capture sensitive data have been reviewed by Drexel IRB.