“Trying to Eat an Elephant”: The Complexities of Bullying Training in the Fire Service

Maria Koeppel 1 * , Brittany Hollerbach 2, Terry von Thaden 3, Hannah Kelley 4, Christopher Kaipust 5, Nattinee Jitnarin 5, Walker Carlos Poston 5, Christopher Haddock 5, Sara Jahnke 5

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp. 155-167

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Bullying in the fire service has long been overlooked, although efforts to understand the phenomenon have increased over the past few decades. Recent research has highlighted high rates of bullying in the fire service, regardless of gender and race. Despite established issues of bullying, workplace bullying training has yet to be examined in the fire service. Using qualitative data from interviews with a national sample of firefighters and fire service leaders, this foundational research sought to understand current and future needs related to training on bullying prevention and effective messaging for the fire service. Common themes that emerged from the data include current training opportunities, the effectiveness of training, and components of effective training.

Keywords: qualitative methods, firefighters, bullying, training.