Individual and organizational influences of the professional quality of life of Florida public safety personnel




Miller, Anastasia
Unruh, Lynn

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PURPOSE: Public safety personnel (law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical services and dispatchers) face work environments which are high stress. These can lead to burnout, secondary traumatic stress and a reduction of compassion satisfaction. However, very little is known about what individual and work factors influence these negative coping mechanisms in public safety personnel. It is also unknown how perceived organizational and coworker support, debriefing methods, or individual characteristics are associated with the aforementioned coping mechanisms. The differences between these fields are also unknown. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: A cross-sectional administration of surveys to Florida public safety personnel was done. A total of 1,360 public safety individuals completed the survey. Three regression analyses were carried out, utilizing the three Professional Quality of Life Version 5 subscales as the dependent variables. The Perceived Coworker Support Survey, Survey of Perceived Organizational Support, the Brief Resilience Survey and questions regarding debriefing practices were included.

FINDINGS: Public safety personnel cannot be treated as a singular population for many things. An exception of this was that perceived organizational support and psychological resilience were associated with positive outcomes, albeit, to varying degrees in all fields. The other individual and organizational factors had very distinct impacts on the varying fields.

RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: There are limitations due to the nature of cross-sectional survey design and due to the sample size.

ORIGINALITY/VALUE: This study displays statistical relationships between factors which public safety agencies could use to increase employee job satisfaction and potentially reduce turnover. It was the only study the authors could find which include dispatchers when comparing these four public safety fields.


Article originally published in International Journal of Emergency Services, 8(3), 221–235. English. Published online 2019.


Perceived organizational support, Professional quality of life, First responders


This is the published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Miller, A., & Unruh, L. (2019). Individual and organizational influences of the professional quality of life of Florida Public Safety Personnel. International Journal of Emergency Services, 8(3), 221–235. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.