This study aimed to explore differences in the perceptions of professional and voluntary firefighters regarding the extreme wildfire events that occurred in Portugal in 2017. We collected a sample of 185 participants, professional and voluntary firefighters, who directly participated in suppression activities for the Pedrogao Grande and October 2017 wildfires in Portugal. They were on duty in 149 fire stations in the Central Region of Portugal. A questionnaire was sent via Google Form to participants, based mainly on close-ended and two open-ended questions. It was structured into topics concerning the characteristics of wildfire events, the problems that occurred during the suppression activity, the emotional response of participants to the events, the lessons learned, and the consequences. We found significant differences between the two groups in their perception of wildfire characteristics and their perception of the worst fires they had ever experienced. Some differences were found in their discussion of the suppression phase and their emotional response to fires. On the contrary, the two groups appear to be homogeneous when it comes to no significant changes after the deadly 2017 experience in terms of the fight against rural fires, organization, training, prevention, and careers. The results underline the inadequacy of the suppression model vs. extreme wildfire events, and also its limits from the point of view of psychological reactions and the perception of management problems occurring in extreme and complex events. There is a research gap and no examples in Portugal about the perception of firefighters of the complex flow of activities that characterize the suppression operation of extreme wildfire events. Our research fills this gap.

The 2017 Extreme Wildfires Events in Portugal through the Perceptions of Volunteer and Professional Firefighters / Leone, V.; Elia, M.; Lovreglio, R.; Correia, F.; Tedim, F.. - In: FIRE. - ISSN 2571-6255. - 6:4(2023). [10.3390/fire6040133]

The 2017 Extreme Wildfires Events in Portugal through the Perceptions of Volunteer and Professional Firefighters

Leone V.;Lovreglio R.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

This study aimed to explore differences in the perceptions of professional and voluntary firefighters regarding the extreme wildfire events that occurred in Portugal in 2017. We collected a sample of 185 participants, professional and voluntary firefighters, who directly participated in suppression activities for the Pedrogao Grande and October 2017 wildfires in Portugal. They were on duty in 149 fire stations in the Central Region of Portugal. A questionnaire was sent via Google Form to participants, based mainly on close-ended and two open-ended questions. It was structured into topics concerning the characteristics of wildfire events, the problems that occurred during the suppression activity, the emotional response of participants to the events, the lessons learned, and the consequences. We found significant differences between the two groups in their perception of wildfire characteristics and their perception of the worst fires they had ever experienced. Some differences were found in their discussion of the suppression phase and their emotional response to fires. On the contrary, the two groups appear to be homogeneous when it comes to no significant changes after the deadly 2017 experience in terms of the fight against rural fires, organization, training, prevention, and careers. The results underline the inadequacy of the suppression model vs. extreme wildfire events, and also its limits from the point of view of psychological reactions and the perception of management problems occurring in extreme and complex events. There is a research gap and no examples in Portugal about the perception of firefighters of the complex flow of activities that characterize the suppression operation of extreme wildfire events. Our research fills this gap.
2023
The 2017 Extreme Wildfires Events in Portugal through the Perceptions of Volunteer and Professional Firefighters / Leone, V.; Elia, M.; Lovreglio, R.; Correia, F.; Tedim, F.. - In: FIRE. - ISSN 2571-6255. - 6:4(2023). [10.3390/fire6040133]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/330329
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