Qualitative Assessment of Challenges and Impact on Health and Wellbeing of Malaysian Firefighters
Keywords:firefighters, emergency personnel, first responder, challenges, mental health, wellbeing
Operational response by firefighters necessitates a sudden shift from rest to near-maximal physical effort, as well as almost instant stress management due to the nature of work to be readily available attending emergencies. However, more is needed to know about the other challenges faced by firefighters and the impact of those challenges. The purpose of this study was to explore the challenges of Malaysian firefighters and the impact of the challenges. The study adopted a qualitative research method through semi-structured interviews with 23 firefighters in the central region of Malaysia, consisting of supervisors and subordinates. Responses to each question were qualitatively analyzed to determine themes. Results suggest that two superordinate themes emerged relating to workplace and personal challenges, further divided into themes and subthemes. The challenges impact the firefighters psychologically, further divided into mental, physiological, emotional, and behavioural and psychosocial impacts. Exploring challenges and their impact on firefighters provides a foundation and guidance for management, supervisors, or mental health providers in promoting the well-being of firefighters. This study discovered promising avenues for future research regarding challenges and impact on firefighters. It demonstrated that understanding the challenges and their impact is significant in identifying preventive measures among high-risk occupations to support their mental health. The result will eventually provide a better understanding of how to enhance the well-being of firefighters concerning their job descriptions.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Nuramalina Samar, Nurul Ain Hidayah Abas, Nurul Ain Mohd Daud, Asma Perveen, Izazol Idris, Mei-Hua Lin, Ramayah Thurasamy, Mohammad Aziz Shah Mohamed Arip, Ahmad Faiz Tharima, Andy Alie, Nur Hafizah Mohammad Lukman
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