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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 274121, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/274121
Research Article

Posttraumatic Symptoms and Posttraumatic Growth of Israeli Firefighters, at One Month following the Carmel Fire Disaster

1The Community Stress Prevention Centre, 11016 Kiryat Shmona, Israel
2Department of Psychology, Tel Hai Academic College, 12210 Kiryat Shmona, Israel

Received 8 August 2012; Revised 12 November 2012; Accepted 6 December 2012

Academic Editor: C. Robert Cloninger

Copyright © 2013 Dmitry Leykin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Wildfire disasters are potentially traumatic events which directly and indirectly affect both citizens and first responders. The study of posttraumatic growth is scarcely found in the context of firefighters and only few studies have addressed this construct. In the current study, posttraumatic symptoms and posttraumatic growth were investigated among Israeli firefighters ( ), approximately one month after the Carmel Fire Disaster. Eight firefighters (12.3%) were found to be above the cut-off score for probable PTSD, with intrusion symptoms as the most frequent finding compared to avoidance and hyper-arousal symptoms. Posttraumatic growth (PTG) was evident to a small but considerable degree; noticeable changes were found regarding personal strength and appreciation of life. Results also revealed significant linear and quadratic relationships between PTSD and PTG. Results are discussed in light of past research on psychological responses among firefighters and first responders.