Firefighting Ranked Most Stressful Job for 2015

A study just released by CareerCast lists the most stressful jobs for 2015. Firefighting ranked number one due to the physical danger, unpredictability, and negative psychological effects of the job. However, the report noted highly stressful jobs such as firefighting are a great match for those with the passion and drive necessary to succeed in such an environment.
“Stress can come from a variety of factors, including tight deadlines, long hours, and the need to put your life on the line while protecting others,” explains Tony Lee, publisher, “It takes a thick skin and keen attention detail to thrive in environments fraught with hazards and long hours.”
To any firefighter, this finding probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Volunteer firefighters face even more stress as they juggle firefighting with other full time jobs and family commitments. While stress is a necessary part of the job, too much stress or negative consequences resulting from stress can have a devastating impact on firefighters. It is critical to know how to properly manage stress, how much is too much, and when to seek help.
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) offers several resources through its Share the Load program that can help firefighters and EMTs better handle stress. These resources include:
  • Online webinars such as “Putting Out the Fire: Stress Resilience Strategies” and “Brotherhood vs. Parenthood: Finding Your Life Balance,” available in the NVFC Virtual Classroom.
  • The Helpletter, a newsletter filled with behavioral health tips and resources, including the article Getting a Handle on Stress.
  • An online resource center with links to helpful tools, training, and organizations. 
  • The Fire/EMS Helpline, a free hotline at 1-888-731-FIRE (3473) that firefighters and their families can call any time to get immediate assistance with behavioral health issues affecting their lives, such as chronic or severe stress, PTSD, anxiety, addiction, depression, and more.
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