A fire department’s safety culture is a strong predictor of firefighter injuries. Leadership can improve personnel behaviors by placing a stronger value on safety, but you really need to know where you are before you know what to improve.
Drexel University’s Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) developed a tool to do this. The Firefighter Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey can help your department predict firefighter injuries and organizational outcomes (e.g., burnout, job satisfaction and work engagement).
This is an opportunity for fire department leadership to measure their safety climate. There is no cost to the participating fire departments, and it is open to both career and volunteer departments. FOCUS administration will provide you with objective data to assess departmental safety culture:
- Customized data showing your safety culture at both the department and station levels.
- A comparative analysis of your safety culture to other similar departments who have participated.
- Objective evidence to inform safety related policy decisions.
The program is available through a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant and is funded through August 2018, so departments are urged to assess their safety culture as soon as possible. One entry per fire department will be accepted.
For additional fire service safety culture information, see the U.S. Fire Administration website on Operational Safety.