FIRST Center, FDSOA receive $1.5M Fire Prevention & Safety grant
The funding will extend the scope of the FOCUS survey, a fire service-specific safety culture assessment tool
By FireRescue1 Staff
PHILADELPHIA — The Center for Firefighter Injury Research & Safety Trends (FIRST Center) and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) announced on Monday the receipt of a $1.5 million grant from FEMA’s Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) program. The funding will extend the scope of the Fire service Organizational Culture of Safety (FOCUS) survey, a fire service-specific safety culture assessment tool.
The FIRST Center said this collaboration is in response to FEMA’s national prevention priorities on firefighter safety projects “designed to measurably change firefighter behavior and decision-making,” adding that “safety culture is a robust predictor of occupational injuries and organizational outcomes such as burnout, job satisfaction, and engagement.”
The newest grant funding will extend the scope of FOCUS by allowing FIRST and FDSOA to partner with Workers’ Compensation Bureaus (WCBs) to explore models of scale-up and utility so that all U.S. states and territories will be served. The implementation of FOCUS by fire departments covered by each state’s WCB will evaluate the impact on injury and well-being claims as well as explore premium reductions for participants.
FIRST and FDSOA are collaborating with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, Division of Safety and Hygiene and the Washington State Labor and Industries Division of Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program. Departments participating in the pilot program will receive a FOCUS survey assessment and then participate in a FOCUS Culture Camp to develop data competency. Forty departments per state will be assessed over two years. In Washington state, the collaboration will be responsive to the Fire Injury and Illness Reduction (FIIRE) safety initiative, which provides a discount for Washington fire departments with workers’ compensation coverage from the State Fund.
In addition, the FIRST Center will launch an online FOCUS Culture Camp to serve fire departments that have already completed the FOCUS survey assessment and are on the waiting list for the training.
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