It is getting frequent that fire engines are moving out to fight the fire, save people’s lives and rescue people from danger, and this increase in mobilization and a particular circumstance where they are put in danger are causing psychological stress.
This study is a cross-sectional one for understanding how social·demographical, working environmental, health behavioral, and health conditional factors are related to the perception of stress resulting from the situation specific to the fire officers.
The research period ranged from August 9^(th) to 23^(rd) 2006, and the subjects of the study included 292 middle and lower fire officers working in Suwon, Ansan, and Siheung.
The data analysis methods used in this study were descriptive statistics, t-test, one-way ANOVA, multiple linear regression.
The results of this study are as follows;
1. With respect to social and demographical factors of the subjects, it was observed that singles perceive stress more than the married do (P<.01).
2. For working environmental factors, it was indicated that there was no relation between stress perception and shift working, but it was observed that the more they suffer from stress resulting from the job(P<.01) and the less they are satisfied with their job(P<.001), the higher stress they experience.
3. As for health behavioral factors, it was observed that there was no relation between stress perception and smoking, exercising, and drinking, and in the case of insufficient sleep, the less they sleep, the more they feel stressed (P<.001).
It was found that those who think that their present health got worse than a year ago are more likely to perceive stress (P<.001), and those who have an occupational disease, diseases, and other disease findings indicate higher stress perception than those who don’t(P<.001).
4. With respect to the relation with condition of their health, it was revealed that those who exhibited otorhinolaryngologic, respiratory, circulatory, intestinal, musculoskeletal, dermatologic, and neurologic disorders, and higher degree of fatigue are more likely to show higher stress perception P<.001). It was observed that the more they are mentally healthy, the more they perceive stress (P<.001).
5. The factors affecting stress perception include the Cornell Medical Index (CMI), the mental health status, job-related stress, job satisfaction, marital status, presence/absence of diseases and other disease findings, the current health status, one-year-ago-health-status, insufficient sleep, and presence/absence of occupational diseases, and the explanability of this regression model is 38.5%. It was considered that CMI affects stress perception most.
The integration of the above results leads to the conclusion that the health status is related to stress perception. The stress perception factors of fire officers include ‘psychological anxiety due to the possibility that accidents might happen during official affairs’, ‘anxieties or tenses resulting from the fire fighting activities’, ‘presence/absence of experiences of suffering from headache, a pain in the chest, and indigestion due to 24-hour standby’, ‘presence/absence of experiences of the limits of stress in case of catastrophes’, and ‘whether they came to drink or smoke a lot more than before due to the job; it can be said that these stress factors would be specific to fire officers except other occupations.
Finally, I hope that there will be more in-depth studies on fire fighters’ stress and occupational diseases in relation to this study, and that our firemen will be able to be protected from unprovable and uncertain occupational diseases due to specific circumstances.