Strong together - Professional team training for more safety and less stress in fire fighting

Project No. FF-FP 0433




Dealing with dangerous situations and stress is part of the work of firefighters. According to the accident statistics for volunteer firefighters, accidents and injuries occur repeatedly during emergency operations and especially during firefighting. Understanding and applying effective teamwork processes within the emergency force structures can reduce accidents during stressful situations. Teamwork processes can be specifically trained, although such training is not yet foreseen in current training guidelines.

The aim of our research project is therefore to develop, implement and evaluate a professional team training concept that is specially tailored to firefighters.

The aim of the training is to improve the team processes in emergency operations with regard to non-technical skills such as communication, coordination, decision making and leadership behaviour, for more safety and less stress in operations. These are conducted in a practice-oriented manner using typical case studies and trained in practical exercises.


We will conduct three consecutive studies: Study 1 identifies the requirements, stressors and resources of teamwork in fire protection operations. This will be done by means of interviews with 30 experienced firefighters, by observing operational exercises and by analysing operational reports.

In Study 2, we determine the prioritization of the various stressors and requirements with the help of an online questionnaire in which firefighters throughout Germany are asked to participate. The sample size here is 500. Based on the findings of studies 1 and 2, we develop a target group-specific team training.

In Study 3 we carry out this training as part of the fire protection training of the Cologne Professional Fire Brigade with 72 trainees and evaluate it in a repeated measures design using questionnaires, observation of operational exercises and physiological stress indicators. Another 72 trainees serve as a control group.

In transfer workshops, the collected findings are transferred to voluntary fire brigades and works fire brigades. Comprehensive manuals are produced and training courses are offered for the emergency services of the participating voluntary fire brigades and works fire brigades.

Last Update:

22 Apr 2020


Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Universität Bremen
  • Feuerwehr Köln

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

mental stress factors


physical strain/stress, team work, accident prevention

Description, key words:

team Training, fire fighting, fire department