Date of Conferral





Human Services


Eric Youn


Few existing studies have examined compassion fatigue among emergency responders even though firefighters and emergency medical service (EMS) professionals have repetitive direct exposure to traumatic events. This study focused on identifying predictor variables for the development of compassion fatigue in firefighters. Karasek's demand-control model, a commonly used work stress model, was the study's theoretical framework as it focuses on specific construct interactions that predict employee well-being. Accordingly, this correlational study examined the predictive nature of EMS license level, years of service, and personality type on the development of compassion fatigue in career firefighters. Data collection occurred with surveys incorporating the Professional Quality of Life Scale and the Big Five Inventory. Mid-Michigan fire departments participated with 129 career firefighters returning completed surveys with results analyzed using logistic regression. Findings revealed a significant predictive relationship between personality traits and the development of compassion fatigue. These findings can inform preventative measures that protect the psychological well-being of these emergency responders by informing and educating the professionals and organizations as to who is at greatest risk and ultimately providing opportunity for risk mediation.