Work. 2024 May 21. doi: 10.3233/WOR-230316. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) personnel are first responders located at airports in the United States who provide emergency response, mitigation, evacuation, and rescue of passengers and crew of aircraft at airports. The nature of their work puts ARFF personnel in close contact with travelers on a regular basis and at elevated risk for COVID-19 exposure.

OBJECTIVE: In this study, we focused on safety behavior, perceived risk, and workplace resources to understand COVID-19 outcomes in the early pandemic among the overlooked worker population of ARFF personnel. The goal of this study was to examine how a self-reported positive COVID test were associated with safety behavior, perceived risk, and workplace resources.

METHODS: Cross-sectional survey data were collected among ARFF personnel a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.

RESULTS: Regression results showed that each additional unit increase in perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 was associated with a 133% increase in the odds of testing positive for COVID-19 (OR = 2.33, p < 0.05), and with each additional unit increase in perceived severity level, the odds of getting COVID-19 decreased by 47% (OR = 0.53, p < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Infection control among first responders may be improved by providing relevant information physical and emotional resources, and support that help shape perceptions of risk and adoption of prevention behaviors.

PMID:38788107 | DOI:10.3233/WOR-230316