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Dr. Sara Jahnke on data-driven change: ‘You have to give early, easy wins’

The fire service scientist details her newest adventure, the Science Alliance, plus how to make data accessible at the station level

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On this episode of the Better Every Shift podcast, Dr. Sara Jahnke, director of the Center for Fire, Rescue & EMS Health Research, joins Zam to bond over their shared forgetfulness of their own articles and, more importantly, the reality of translating fire service science to real-world tactics and behavior, plus all this:

  • Her “fourth-child” project – the Science Alliance (and merch!);
  • Simple steps for positive change;
  • The power of positive peer pressure;
  • The motivating story about cigarettes in fire service culture; and
  • Her pop culture black hole, even with Coolio.


  • Don’t miss: The data point that made her gasp
  • Hot seat sneak peek: Her “walk-up” song
  • Episode power quote: “People say, ‘I’m not a scientist, I’m just a firefighter,’ but I’m not a firefighter, I’m just a scientist.”

Did you catch the movie quote? Email



Read more from Dr. Jahnke about studies related to opioid use, shift schedules, alcohol use, Long-COVID and more.

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