2019 First Responder Survey Results

Every year we ask our supporters, followers, and fellow professionals to participate in a survey. We publish these results once the data has been collected and analyzed. Our top priority, as it always has been, is taking care of our first responders and veterans. Collecting this information is helpful to us because it allows the organization to better define areas that affect the lives of others and help set a path for the future. We thank everyone who participated!


This survey was distributed through various social media outlets that we partner with and through email campaigns. This data represents first responders living and working in the United States. Data was collected from at least two responders across 49 states with Alaska being the only state where no responses were collected. Data was validated using location coding and screening for professional status. A total of 782 people responded and 500 of those responses were validated. Only the validated responses are included in this data. Some reasons from exclusion include living or working outside the US, incomplete responses, an undefined profession, or obvious trolls.

A majority of responses represented EMS Professionals (56%) followed by combination Fire/EMS (28%), with a lower volume from Law Enforcement (including Corrections at 5%), Emergency Dispatchers (2%), and those in Disaster Response.

The largest participating group is represented by ages 25-34 (31%). The majority of responses came from an age represented from 18-54 with only a handful in the age group above.

Professional Longevity

Years reported active in chosen profession. A majority have been working in their respective industry for at least 10 years.

Shift Hours By Time

The majority (32%) report working 24 hour, or full day shifts, followed by daytime hours (23%) and rotating or alternating shifts at 14%.

Downtime, Rest & Wellness On Duty


Sleep On Duty

Restful Downtime

Downtime After A Critical Incident

A majority report restful downtime (56%) as well as sleep (61%) is allowed. Curiously, a majority 57% report that downtime after a critical incident is not a practice.

Encouraged evaluations

Availability of evaluations

75% reported that employers did not encourage routine mental health and wellness evaluations and 83% do not provide them.

Voluntary Evaluations

When asked if a voluntary session would be made available, while 15% answered no, an almost even amount were unsure or answered yes.



Report problems with sleep



Sleep between 2-5 hours per day.

Top Sleep Problems

While only 2% reported no sleep problems, a majority 63% have never had their sleep issues evaluated by a medical professional.

75% of those who reported a sleep problem have not been evaluated for a sleep disorder.

Sleep concerns

Physical Concerns


top physical ailments



Reported that despite experiencing these frequent physical ailments they have not sought evaluation by a medical provider.


Have never had medical imaging (MRI/CT).


On the job injuries


47% reported being placed out of work due to an injury sustained while in the course of duty.

injury from moving patient/victim

52% were injured from moving people. 93% reported having access to special equipment and additional personnel for moving or lifting patients/victims.

34% of those injured did not report it.

Employment And Career

Cares about my wellbeing



Adequate sick and vacation time



Provides adequate equipment




Takes interest in my health and wellness



My employer evaluates stress levels



Works to ensure safety




Indicated that an employer would not actively engage or assist someone in the organization if they or a coworker were experiencing a mental health problem


Felt that the mental health resources available form their employer would not be readily available in the event of a mental health crisis.


Expressed a low confidence in asking for help from their employer.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and peer support

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EAP Rating

An overall rating of those with EAP offerings were very dissatisfied with available services.


Reported that a peer support team is not available to them.

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Peer Support Rating

Those who had access to peer support teams reported a low satisfaction with 43% citing disorganization, 37% with being available on demand, 36% stating the team was unapproachable, 39% citing concerns with privacy, and 41% reported that they felt the individuals involved were not properly educated in the area of peer support.

Emergency Calls And Safety

Use of EMD or call screening efficacy

78% reported that despite the use of call screening tools, they have been sent into a dangerous situation.

When asked about the screening process for emergency calls (911), most people felt the process was ineffective for determining if a safety issue could be identified.

Sent into a dangerous situation


Donations make our work possible. Please consider a contribution to help our mission!


We’ve got a long way to go, and speaking up is the first step to making our world better.

If you have questions about this survey or would like more information, please contact us.

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