Help Us Improve

The 2nd Alarm Project is conducting an ongoing needs assessment of first responders. Our findings help inform program components and contribute to the overall knowledge base on first responder behavioral health.

Area universities and first responder organizations developed the survey as part of our response to recent state and nationwide attention on the psychological risks of first responder professions.

The information you anonymously provide will help us to better understand how, our often-stressful job duties, affect our emotional health and wellness, and how we can prevent or better manage these stresses. Although some of the questions are personal and sensitive, you will not be asked your name – no one will ever be able to connect your responses to your identity. The information provides essential feedback regarding the psychological health and needs of first responders and will be used to help inform interventions and strengthen our department’s programs.

You can take the survey fully online via a secure, private, and user-friendly format, taking approximately 15 minutes to complete. You may complete the survey from any compatible device (computer, smart phone, tablet). Responses are completely anonymous, meaning no personal identifiers or tracking information is collected. Consultants, employers, supervisors, other employees, or your family members will at no time have access to any individual responses.

We invite you to participate in the survey by clicking on the link below.

(please do not participate if you have previously submitted a response to this survey)

Some of our preliminary results with firefighters in the Florida Panhandle include the following:

  • 24.3% reported symptoms consistent with a provisional PTSD diagnosis
  • 52.3% presented with mild to severe depression
  • 40% reported experiencing anxiety
  • 61.7% met criteria for harmful levels of substance use
  • 15.1% met criteria for higher risk of suicide

Firefighters also reported significantly higher exposure on the job to traumatic events, such as severe human suffering, sudden violent/accidental deaths, calls related to physical and sexual assaults, and serious injures (measured with the Life Events Checklist). These work-related exposures increased risks of firefighters reporting PTSD symptoms, anxiety, and harmful substance use.

The study also examines Barriers to Care for these behavioral health issues. We found:

  • 41% of firefighters reported wanting to solve the problem on their own
  • 37% thought the problem would get better by itself
  • 35% reported feeling embarrassed or ashamed
  • 34% reported not wanting a mental health problem on their medical records
  • 32% reported concerns they might be seen as weak for having a mental health problem or that people they know would find out
  • 24% reported not being able to afford financial costs involved
  • 22% were unsure of where to get professional care
  • 20% reported they would rather seek care from peers
  • 14% had previous bad experiences with professional care

For more information, full methodologies, or to have your department participate in our needs assessment, contact us.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

This product was supported [in part] by grant number H79FG000149 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The content does not necessarily reflect the views or polices of SAMHSA or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).