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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Drexel and Fire Association Receive $1.5 FEMA Grant to Assess Fire Service Culture

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG) to the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) and the Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) program in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University.

The grant provides support to disseminate the Firefighter Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey, which was developed Dr. Jennifer Taylor, director of Drexel’s FIRST Program, and her team in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health of the Dornsife School under a FEMA Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) R&D grant. FOCUS is the first fire service-specific safety culture assessment tool, and measures behaviors, decision-making, and organizational safety factors. To develop the FOCUS instrument, the FIRST team recruited and assessed safety climate in the largest FEMA study sample of over 10,000 firefighters in 130 departments. Safety culture is a robust predictor of occupational injuries and organizational outcomes such as burnout, job satisfaction, and engagement.

This new collaboration between FDSOA and Drexel responds to FEMA’s national prevention priorities on firefighter safety projects “designed to measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making.”