FSD1258 Part-Time and Voluntary Fire Brigades 2002: Firefighters

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  • Suominen, Petteri (University of Tampere. Department of Political Science and International Relations)


agreements, cooperation, emergency and protective services, fire-fighting services, firefighters, municipalities, political participation, social systems, voluntary work


The survey is part of a research project focusing on the significance of voluntary fire brigades to the Finnish society. Fire brigades studied included part-time fire brigades, voluntary fire brigades and industrial fire brigades. Respondents were asked how long they had acted as fire fighters, was any other relative also a member, what kind of fire brigade it was and did they aim to continue with this voluntary work. Reasons for joining, duties in the brigade and membership in other non-governmental organizations were queried.

Opinions of the positive and negative aspects of the fire services work were charted. Respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with several statements relating to various aspects of voluntary fire brigades: e.g. training opportunities, brigades' political non-alignment, social responsibility, public image. Respondents' political participation was surveyed with questions about their elective offices and degree of activity in social issues. The significance of part-time and voluntary fire brigades to Finnish rescue services was studied by asking respondents to rate their importance. Respondents were also asked to estimate how much importance municipal residents and decision-makers give to the brigades.

Views were also probed on the suitability of certain bodies (e.g. police, health and social authorities, sports clubs) as co-operation partners for fire brigades. Some open-ended questions covered the future of voluntary brigades and the effects of regional rescue services system. Background variables included sex, age, marital status, number of children, vocational education and socio-economic group.

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