The influence of organizational support on the life course of trauma in emergency responders from British Columbia

I am very pleased to announce that another paper resulting from the research conducted on the SIMTEC project has just been published. This paper should be of great interest to all first responders (abstract below). I would like to thank Adam Vaughan, Ciara Moran and Laurie Hearty for their hard work on doing the research and following up with the recommendations from the peer review process to get us to publication. I would also like to thank our project champion, Health Canada, and our funder Defence Research and Development Canada.

Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health

The influence of organizational support on the life course of trauma in emergency responders from British Columbia

Adam D. Vaughan, Ciara B. Moran, Laurie D. R. Pearce & Laurie Hearty

Published online: 24 Jun 2016

Research has consistently demonstrated that following a response to an emergency incident, first responders and first receivers, support staff, and civilian responders are likely to experience trauma. The aim of this article is to explore if the traumatization of emergency responders is influenced by the nature of organizational support toward the psychosocial recovery of staff and volunteers. Twenty-two qualitative interviews were conducted with emergency responders from British Columbia, Canada. Using content analysis, findings indicate that there are similarities in how organizational support (or the lack thereof) influences the life course of traumatization. Pertinent factors include the occupational requirements of each agency, their organizational culture, and the quality and quantity of policies and practices that place emphasis on well-being. Possible methods for improving organizational support for emergency responders include providing additional post-event information to responders to permit emotional closure from the event, empowering field supervisors to provide timely and appropriate treatment options, and lastly, to shift organizational culture to recognizing and responding to the psychological well-being of staff and volunteers as vital to the operation of an organization.


Laurie Pearce
Research Chair, JIBC