Volunteer firefighting and family life: An organisational perspective on conflict between volunteer and family roles

Sean Cowlishaw, Jim McLennan, Lynette Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Protection to Australian communities from fire and other emergencies is provided mostly by volunteers. However, declining volunteer numbers have forced emergency service agencies to consider factors impacting adversely on volunteer retention. The current study provides an organisational perspective on the difficulties of balancing volunteering and family commitments through semi-structured interviews with managers of Australian volunteer firefighters. A thematic analysis of interviews identified several themes, including: volunteers' difficulty prioritising family needs ahead of brigade responsibilities; leaving household and business responsibilities with family members; a lack of time with family; and interruptions to family routines and activities. Findings are discussed in the context of existing research and a theoretical model of Work-Family Conflict, and inform recommendations for agencies to support families and minimise conflicts between volunteer firefighting and family life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
JournalAustralian Journal on Volunteering
Volume13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Volunteer firefighting and family life: An organisational perspective on conflict between volunteer and family roles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this