Wildland Fire Dispatchers Play a Key Role in Wildland Fire Management and Response Organization; However, to Date, Wildland Fire Studies Have Largely Focused on the Physical Hazards And, to a Lesser Extent, Mental Health Hazards of Wildland Firefighting Operational Personnel, and Dispatcher Studies Have Primarily Focused on 911 and Police Dispatchers. Studies of Other Dispatchers Have Provided Some Limited Insight into Potential Strains Impacting This Workforce, Including Work-Related Fatigue, Burnout, and Traumatic Exposure. However, the Specific Job Hazards that Are Faced by Wildland Fire Dispatchers Are Poorly Understood. in 2023, We Conducted a Cross-Sectional Survey of 510 Wildland Fire Dispatchers with Questions About their Occupational Health, General Health, and Well-Being. We Used Validated Screening Instruments to Measure the Rates of Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and Suicidal Thoughts and Ideation. Here, We Also Present the Results of Mental Health and Trauma Exposure Questions that Were Asked as Part of a Larger Survey. We Found that Demographic Factors Were Significant Indicators of Anxiety, Depression, and Binge/restrictive Eating. Our Data Indicate that Rates of Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, and Suicidal Thoughts and Ideation Are Significantly Higher for Both the Wildland Fire Dispatching Workforce and Other Emergency Responder Populations Than Those of the General United States Population.


Biological Sciences

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Publication Date

01 May 2024

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