Stress and wellbeing of first responders.

Dessa Bergen-Cico, Pruthvi Kilaru, Rachael Rizzo, Patricia Buore

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


First responders place themselves in harm’s way providing public safety and urgent on-site pre-hospital health care. Their work is physically demanding, requiring 24-hour coverage and ongoing exposure to injury, violence, death and destruction. Rates of posttraumatic stress among first responders ranges from 8 to 32 per cent and vary based on the setting, source of the crisis, available support, training, and personal characteristics. Chronic stress and unaddressed trauma can affect first responders’ work performance, relationships, morbidity, and mortality. Traumatic stress can dysregulate neurophysiology and negatively impact psychological and physical health. In order to remain in the workforce and have a healthy quality of life it is imperative that first responders are afforded the same psychological support and care that they provide others. Psychological first aid, support, and cognitive behavioral strategies are among the most promising strategies for fostering resiliency and reducing the impact of stress and PTSD among first responders.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationStress and Wellbeing in the Public Sector
EditorsRonald Burke, Silvia Pignata
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
ISBN (Print)978 1 78897 034 1
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

Name Research Handbooks in Business and Management
PublisherEdward Elgar


  • Trauma
  • Posttraumatic stress
  • Stress
  • Resiliency
  • First responder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Neuroscience
  • General Medicine


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