Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
suicide, education, social cognitive theory, public safety, emergency responder, emergency medical services
The primary purpose of this quantitative study is to understand suicide among emergency responders. The secondary purpose is to examine how educators can use information about suicide among emergency responders to develop and adapt curriculum to mitigate psychological trauma experienced by those in emergency medical services (EMS), the fire service, and law enforcement. I use social cognitive theory to investigate responder suicide and as a framework to understand the role of education. Official death records were cross-referenced with data possessed by responder credentialing agencies. I analyzed the records to determine the suicide rates of responders compared to the general population and a matched set of responders who did not die of suicide. I also analyzed educational factors hypothesized to confer protection against psychological trauma and suicide, including EMS credential level, academic education level, attainment of firefighter or law enforcement training, and various combinations of credential, education, and fire or police training. The findings suggest that emergency responders have a higher suicide rate compared to the general population. Responders who die by suicide generally have higher levels of education. Being a responder without an EMS credential confers the most protection while the interactive effects of credential and education have significant (p < .05) association with suicide. The impact of psychological trauma is the same regardless of the responder field of practice.
Caulkins, Chris, "Suicide among Emergency Responders in Minnesota: The Role of Education" (2018). Culminating Projects in Higher Education Administration. 28.