Burnout: personal and work factors in volunteer and career firefighters

Paulo C. Dias*, Íris M. Oliveira, Anabela Rodrigues, Ricardo Peixoto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose Firefighters are daily confronted with adverse, unpredictable and demanding situations. It is a dangerous profession that puts firefighters at risk of developing burnout. Although the literature has already identified personal and work-related factors of burnout, the examination of specific factors explaining burnout among volunteer and career firefighters is still needed. The purpose of this study is to investigate the explaining role of personal and work-related factors on volunteer and career firefighters' burnout. Design/methodology/approach A nonrandom convenience sample of 250 firefighters (67% volunteer; M-age = 31.88) completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory, the Proactive Coping Scale and a standard of living subscale item. Hierarchical multiple linear regression models were tested. Fisher's criterion was considered, with p-values lower than 0.05 interpreted as statistically significant. Findings Personal and work-related factors accounted for 18% of volunteer and 31% of career firefighters' variations in burnout. Personal factors offered a greater contribution explaining volunteer and career firefighters' burnout. Still, variations in the role played by age, family responsibilities, proactive coping and satisfaction with standard of living on burnout were found among volunteer and career firefighters. Taking the work-related factors into account, working in rotative shifts constituted a risk factor for career firefighters' burnout. Research limitations/implications This study advances the understanding about the role of personal and work-related factors in volunteer and career firefighters' burnout. Originality/value This study adds information about specific factors explaining burnout among voluntary and career firefighters. It deepens existing knowledge on variations in the role played by age, family responsibilities, work conditions, proactive coping and satisfaction with standard of living on the burnout of volunteer and career firefighters.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Sep 2022

Keywords

  • Firefighters
  • Burnout
  • Volunteer firefighters
  • Career firefighters

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