In the 1990s the firefighter’s hood became a standard article of safety equipment worn by municipal firefighters, eliciting a negative reaction among many of these firefighters. I used data from interviews with 42 firefighters to explain why this reaction occurred. Data analysis revealed that negative reactions ultimately stemmed from the hood’s disruption of autonomy, repudiation of the complex mental and physical skill needed to perform tasks required of firefighters, and hindrance in negotiating the life-threatening environment created by a fire. These findings indicate that when introducing new safety equipment technology to emergency response workers, their reaction to this equipment, and its effect on their autonomy and ability to complete complex occupational tasks, may have important prevention implications.
Firefighting, Technology, Autonomy, Skill Complexity, Prevention, Risk, Qualitative, Semi-Structured Interviews, Thematic Analysis
The author would like to thank all firefighters who volunteered their time to participate in the research from which this study is associated.
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Recommended APA Citation
Ward, B. W. (2017). Reaction to Safety Equipment Technology in the Workplace and Implications: A Study of the Firefighter’s Hood. The Qualitative Report, 22(12), 3286-3304. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2017.3026
Emergency and Disaster Management Commons, Industrial and Organizational Psychology Commons, Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene Commons, Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies Commons, Science and Technology Studies Commons