Higher PTSD risk for female firefighters
Publish date: 15 May 2019
Issue Number: 286
Diary: Legalbrief Workplace
Female firefighters are at a higher risk of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or contemplating suicide than their male colleagues. Personnel Today reports that researchers at the University of Houston found one in five female firefighters indicated that they had experienced symptoms of PTSD, compared to one in eight male firefighters, while the risk of developing PTSD increased the longer they spent in the career. A total of 2 639 firefighters in large urban fire brigades took part in the study, of whom only 75 were women and 2 564 were men. The results were collected via anonymous surveys which asked whether they had experienced symptoms of depression, stress, PTSD, suicidal thoughts and asked about problem behaviours associated with alcohol consumption. The study indicated that screening and intervention programmes should consider the increased risk factors which differ between male and female firefighters.