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Hi everyone,

I'm a Psychology Masters degree student at Keele University and I am conducting some research concerning trust beliefs within the fire and rescue services and comparing them to those of the public.

The survey involves some questions assessing mental well-being and a series of hypothetical scenarios. Responses are recorded on a 1 - 7 likert scale e.g. Extremely unlikely - Extremely likely.

Therefore, I am looking to recruit some firefighters to complete my survey. All responses are completely annoymous and confidential, and the survey does not require any personal details. The current average response time is 7-8 minutes so I'm not asking for too much of your time if you are willing to complete the survey.

If you have any questions about the study i am willing to answer them either on this forum or via email (v8g36@students.keele.ac.uk).

The link to the survey can be found here:

I greatly appreciate your time and any responses i may receive.

Thank you,

Norton Renhard

**I have received approval from Carl to post to this forum.**

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Hi Norton, I'd be happy to as soon as I get hold of a computer rather than a phone. Can you expand on what you mean by "trust beliefs" out of interest?

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Thank you for your reply and participation.

Essentially, as opposed to asking how much you would trust specific colleagues or your station in certian situations, you are presented with a series of scenarios and asked to rate the likelihood of each when considering the fire services as a whole. So if I were to simplify it, i suppose i could say it would be your trust beliefs in the organisation as a whole.

For example, if you were told an engine would be with you in 10 minutes, how likely would you be to believe that statement to be true.

Upon completion of my data collection, I would be interested in examining if there is any difference between what firefighters report and what the public report.

If you would like any further clarification I'm more than happy to go into more detail for you.

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Done and submitted, but skipped this one.


A young girl tells a firefighter that she accidentally started the fire of which they are investigating. To what extent would the firefighters be understanding of her admission? 

Could not make my way through the answers as they related to the scenario...

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Thank you Hmckay91!

That's fine, if there are any questions anybody does not wish to answer you are free to do so :)

Would you care to elaborate what you meant in regards to not being able to make your way through the answers? I can't tell if i'm being stupid or missing your point entirely xD

I just noticed the link has hyperlinked to the word 'here' in the original post so if anybody needs the actual URL it is:


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Norton, there is a reason for that as detailed here :) 

Random links with no textual context do nothing for forums. The word "here" doesn't neither as it happens but I didn't have much choice. ;)

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Just a couple of things Norton, fires don't get too big where we turn round and say 'oh that's too big to deal with, let's all pack up and go'. And it would be incorrect to say 90% of fires go out. They all go out in the end, with one possible exception, the Springfield Tyre Dump fire, established in 1966. :D


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I've done it, but to be honest I feel you should have posed the question set to a member of the fire service. Many of the questions around the likely hood of response to community safety visits as well as incidents themselves are inaccurate and show a lack of understanding and are therefore unwittingly disingenuous.

We have service level agreements in terms of customer care (how likely is it they'd turn up for a visit as an example). We are a public body who are probably the most cautious around reputational risk, therefore we wouldn't offer it if it wasn’t certain to happen. Even if a call comes in, we are required to inform the person and offer to re-book. Some of those questions intimate to the survey responder do you think the FRS would bother to turn up if you booked them? The only things we can't guarantee are things like school fetes which may get cancelled. Anything safety critical, (such as an ignored fire safety visit would become if a fire occurred and someone died) are not going to be missed.

Same for some of the response questions.... this isn't ACME building Co who got a better offer (turned down a £200 job for a £5000 job) no matter what we are going to attend and we'll stay there until the end. For example, an aeroplane crashing in the middle of London, killing thousands and setting several streets of building on fire.... there is no "we can't deal with it" We'd do what we could, call in help and even though it may takes weeks to deal with it, there would never be a point of walking away.

For those reasons I feel the survey poses a number of inaccurate questions and is therefore misleading.

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Hi Steve,

First of all i would like to thank you for your participation and feedback.

I would like to just go over a few of the points you've raised and offer you some sort of response.

The question set was actually presented to members of the fire services during my initial undergraduate project last year, and for the purpose of the study were deemed to be adequate. It is worth noting that the questions are not aiming to assess the effectiveness of the fire services, but the trust beliefs you have within them. However, if you do still feel that the questions are inaccurate i would be happy to discuss them with you.

Secondly, you raise an extremely valid point in regards to the reputation of the fire services. This is something I was particularly interested in during my undergraduate project, and now again for this project - so it certainly has not been overlooked. I'm not sure if you have read this entire thread but I did note earlier that this survey is being administered to both those within the service and the general public. Your experience within the service has lead to your knowledge of these procedures and as a result i expect you will have responded favourably. However, some respondants may not have the luxury of your knowledge and we are looking for any discrepancies between what you report in comparison to the public. If we do find any significant differences between the trust beliefs you place upon the service and those reported by the public, then the ultimate aim is to aid in the development of some interventions which could possibly increase support for the fire services in the future.

So just to summarise this point, your experience has lead you to believe that the fire services will fulfil the statements that they have made to the public, however those not in the service may not hold these same beliefs. This is what we are trying to identify.

I do apologise if you got the impression that the questions implied that firefighters could give up or walk away from any scenario, this definitely was not the intention and i would never expect them to do that. I am just attempting to assess what other people believe - because every individual has their own personal beliefs. I did highlight during the survey that all of the scenarios were only hypothetical and that they were just attempting to assess your beliefs; however, as a result of your feedback i will make this clearer before the presentation of the scenarios.

I hope my response clears alot of those things up for you but if you still believe the survey to be inaccurate or misleading i would love to hear back from you.

Thanks once again for your time and feedback,


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Hi Norton, I am not a firefighter but had a quick glance through the questions (I have not done the survey so your results wont have an anomaly) You included quite a few questions from the standard mental health GAD-7 assessment screener ( generalized anxiety disorder test) which i found a bit strange, you should maybe be a little more open about what that data will be used for in your studies and how that effects the data you are looking at analyzing?

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Hi Stephen,

I am looking to secure responses from the general public too so if you wish to participate then you are more than welcome to!

In the original post i did state that the survey contained some questions which assessed mental well-being. The actual scales which are used are the Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale (Tennant et al., 2007) and perceived stress scale (Cohen, 1994). They are included on the advice of my project superviser, and whilst they are not a focal point of the study, the data from those questions will be used to identify any correlations between mental well-being and ascribed trust beliefs.

The main results we will be examining, as stated in my post above, will be the differences between the beliefs the firefighters ascribe in comparison to the publics. If any discrepancies are identified then it is hoped that the results could lead to the creation of an intervention which could possibly increase public support of the services.

If you are interested my superviser carried out a similar (but not identical) study with the police forces which was recently published, i will leave the reference at the bottom of this post for you.

I hope that cleared things up for you, if you have any additional questions please feel free to ask :)


Rotenberg, K., Harrison, A., & Reeves, C. (2015). Police officers' trust beliefs in the police and their psychological adjustment. Policing And Society, 1-15.

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I've just done this too. Found it quite interesting. Just a point on one of the questions; the one that asked how likely you are to be hurt in a fire. I assumed I was answering it in terms of a fire in my own home, and not as a firefighter on duty? As firefighters obviously run more of a risk of being injured in a fire than a member of the public.

And if you don't mind me asking purely out of curiosity, what sparked your interest in the subject of trust in the fire service?

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Thanks James! Sorry about the late reply.

I suppose that question can be answered either way, so it would be personal preference really.

Well ever since i was a child i have loved the fire services and had an interest in them. You could probably credit Fireman Sam and London's burning for that one! So when i was assigned to my supervisor for my undergraduate project and learned that he had recently completed a study similar to this one with the police, i was keen to see whether or i could follow it up with the fire services. Mainly because of the interest I've always held, but secondly because i expect that people generally would hold higher trust beliefs in the fire services. Additionally, there has been a distinct lack of research conducted involving firefighters and i thought this would be the perfect opportunity to address that.

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