Improving the Health & Safety of all Emergency Responders

Incorporating new ideas from women can improve safety in traditionally male fire departments, but the hypermasculine culture in some can make female firefighters feel unwelcome and less likely to share their ideas, according to a new qualitative study from Drexel University.

The Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST), run by Jennifer A. Taylor, PhD, associate professor in Drexel’s Dornsife School of Public Health, conducted the study. Utilizing interviews and focus groups of female firefighters and leaders in various departments, the study sought to see what unique safety behaviors women bring to the job, how such practices might contribute to a safer fire service, and what cultural barriers exist to implementation.

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