FIRST Hosts 7th Annual Fellowship

March 4 • 2022

The Center for Firefighter Injury Research and Safety Trends (FIRST) is proud to announce the 7th class of the Fire service Injury Research, Epidemiology, and Evaluation (FIRE) Fellowship.

Fellowship recipients, known as FIRE Fellows, are graduate students from the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This year’s program is funded in part by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). The Fellows will develop a curriculum to prevent violence against fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs.

The 2022 FIRE Fellowship recipients are (from left):

Ms. Pelzer is a second-year MPH student studying epidemiology with a goal of pursuing a PhD in environmental and occupational health. As the daughter of a Philadelphia fire fighter, she has the utmost respect and appreciation for the selfless contributions of first responders. Her goals are to study first responder personal and professional health exposures and to develop interventions aimed at improving their quality of life.

Ms. Ali received her bachelor’s degree in dentistry in 2013 after studying in Cairo, Egypt. She is interested in studying the importance of developing policies that investigate causes of and prevention strategies for occupational injuries.

Ms. Wahid is a first-year MPH student studying epidemiology. She is looking forward to the FIRE Fellowship as a way to learn about mixed methods and injury prevention research and is eager to collaborate with stakeholders in the fire and rescue service.

Mr. Barhoush is an international student from Palestine and is looking forward to learning about the fire service through stakeholder engagement and academic research. In the Fellowship, he hopes to expand his curriculum development skills and grow his knowledge of workplace violence. He is eager to meet with fire fighters, paramedics and EMTs to hear about their challenges and to thank them for their service.

The Fellows will be mentored by FIRST Center Director Jennifer Taylor PhD, MPH, CPPS, Senior Project Manager Andrea Davis, MPH (2012), CPH, Education & Training Coordinator Alexandra Fisher, MPH (2020) and FIRE Fellow alumni.

The FIRST Center is a research enterprise organized to support the United States fire and rescue service through objective data collection and analysis. The IAFF Workplace Violence Prevention course uses findings from the Stress and Violence to fire-based EMS Responders (SAVER) portfolio.  The SAVER Systems-Level Checklist is a policy and training intervention designed to shift the onus of safety and health from that of the individual first responder back onto the organization for whom they work by focusing on actions that leadership can institute through policy. The FIRE Fellows will contribute to curriculum development through knowledge integration of cultural competency, curbside first aid, de-escalation, and evasive self-defense competencies.

For more information, contact Outreach and Communications Coordinator Victoria Gallogly at [email protected].