Research Projects

Bullying, Harassment, and Resilience in the Fire Service- National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. lead


Funding provided by: National Development and Research Institutes, Inc.

In collaboration with National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., IFSI Research is working on a study to benchmark and assess Bullying, Harassment, and Resilience in the Fire Service. Bullying has become a critical area of concern in the fire service; from face to face and online intimidation to extreme instances of harassment resulting in assault. These negative behaviors erode safety and teamwork in addition to being in stark contrast to the fire service core values of duty, pride, and tradition and put departments at risk for litigation. Without a comprehensive understanding of the scope and root causes of bullying, we cannot estimate its impact on recruitment and retention, possible career disruption, behavioral health outcomes, and suicide risk. The grant award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of its Fire Prevention & Safety grants program, is being used to collect appropriate information about bullying in the fire service and the prevalence, incidence, risk factors, and consequences of bullying behaviors in the fire service. This information will be used to inform prevention and intervention efforts. A mixed-methods research approach will be used to develop a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities for prevention and intervention, bystander training, and inclusive programs and policies. Data from this research will inform development and pilot testing of a tailored program that is responsive to the unique culture of the fire service.

The outcome of this research is to aid the fire service community in its mission to prevent bullying, harassment, and assault, respond to firefighter mental health issues, and identify ways to foster and improve resilience among firefighters.

Interviews and focus groups began in April 2018