Investigating the relationship between personality factors and burnout in the Dublin Fire Brigade

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Howell, Rob
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Prior research has investigated the psychological impact of working in "Helping" occupations. There are those who may derive satisfaction from the very type of work that can cause stress in others. The aim of the current study was firstly to ascertain the prevalence of conditions such a burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion satisfaction amongst fire-fighter/paramedics working in the Dublin Fire Brigade and secondly to investigate if certain personality traits correlated with the occasioning of these conditions. The research design was a correlation using a quantitative survey questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of two measures, the EPQ-R-S and the PROQOL. The results indicated that those with higher levels of extroversion tended to derive greater satisfaction from the helping work that they do where those with higher levels of neuroticism tended to be less satisfied and in greater danger of job burnout or developing secondary traumatic stress. The current research indicates that personality traits can impact job satisfaction burnout and secondary traumatic stress in helping occupations. Author keywords: Fire-Brigade, compassionate fatigue, burnout, personality