My research focuses on how to support children with a parent who must travel afar for work. Strategies that boost understanding and maintain connection with the absent parent build resilience.
I entered firefighter school at 23 and thought I was hard enough to withstand anything thrown at me. Fourteen years later, I can say firefighters are not indestructible.
Firefighters in Kangaroo Island, South Australia. First responders’ experiences on the front line make them susceptible to post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems.
Emergency service workers already have poorer mental health than the rest of us. In the wake of this bushfire crisis, we need to make the well-being of our first responders a top priority.
Hazard reduction burns reduce bushfire fuel loads, but the current approach is not working.
Relatively little has changed since the Black Saturday tragedy. It is as though Australia suffers amnesia when it comes to bushfire preparedness.
Black Saturday firefighters battling flames in Victoria. When we laud fire fighters as heroes, we fail to acknowledge the ongoing impact of the fires.
AAP Image/Andrew Brownbill
In commemorating firefighters as heroes, we can fall into the danger of overstating their ability to control fires, absolving ourselves of responsibility.
Volunteer firefighting crews have attempted to crowdfund equipment and supplies.
AAP Image/Supplied, DFES Incident Photographer Lewis van Bommel
Farmers seeking relief from the drought and firefighters stretched to their limits have turned to crowdfunding for help. But public appeal shouldn't replace good governance.
The devastating bushfires are intensifying the pressure on a government already increasingly on the back foot over climate.
Emergency Leaders for Climate Action have a simple message: we're in “a new age of unprecedented bushfire danger” due to climate change. But Morrison refuses to acknowledge it as a central issue.
When faced with a wildfire, responders must act quickly and decisively to save lives.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Emergency responders and military personnel need to think creatively – even imaginatively – to save lives under pressure. Analyzing the Grenfell Tower Fire in London reveals useful lessons.
An institution’s culture can affect the behavior of individual participants.
A sociologist spent time as a volunteer firefighter – and learned more about how institutional culture can shape a person's behavior.
The Country Fire Authority was founded in 1944, almost five years after the Black Friday tragedy.
AAP Image/Simon Mossman
Victoria's Country Fire Authority was founded in the aftermath of a previous bushfire tragedy – the 1939 Black Friday blazes. But its creation was a bigger political saga than many people realise.
Firefighters hose down flames from an advancing wildfire July 28, 2018, in Redding, Calif.
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Wildland firefighting has always been a risky job, but development in fire-prone areas is making it more dangerous by putting forest firefighters in situations they are not equipped or trained for.
Strong enough to do the job.
The 10,300 women serving in fire departments across the US face ill-fitting gear, hostility and sexism. But in the end, they say, people "don't care you're a woman when their house is on fire.'
The UK's blue light services need to adapt and modernise or they will face their own emergency.
Under the proposed reforms, the CFA will become a volunteer-only organisation.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews' firefighter reforms have much to recommend them, but there are still many hurdles to jump before they are peacefully implemented.
Changes in leadership behaviour may help with volunteer retention.
A new training course designed to help volunteers feel like a key part of the team could help to reduce attrition rates among Australia's estimated 240,000 volunteer emergency service workers.
How many firemen do we really need?
Nando Machado / Shutterstock.com
There are other ways to make savings that don't ride rough shod over firefighters' contracts.
Malcolm Turnbull promised to solve Victoria’s firefighter dispute as the ‘first item of business’ following his re-election.
The federal government's bill to protect volunteer firefighters following a long-running dispute in Victoria will not solve the problems to which it was allegedly directed.
Historically, the CFA was a voluntary organisation. But with increasing urbanisation, there are pressures to increase the number of career firefighters.
Malcolm Turnbull is using Victoria's long-running enterprise bargaining dispute between the CFA and firefighters' union to highlight the Liberals' credentials to challenge union militancy.
For firefighters, as for communities, knowing when to leave makes all the difference.
AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts
For a firefighter, knowing when it’s time to evacuate can be the difference between life and death. But that can be a difficult call to make when you’re trying to protect life, property and resources while…