The purpose of this paper is to study how learning within the fire and rescue services may be conceptualized, with special attention paid to tunnel fire safety. Previous studies have developed a model to understand learning in emergency response work. The concept of learning is extended from observed changes in relevant settings to also encompass confirmation of existing knowledge and comprehension of existing practices. We are interested in investigating the properties of the learning model and identifying the mechanisms that influence fire and rescue personnel’s experiences of change, confirmation and/or comprehension.
This study relies on quantitative data obtained from a questionnaire answered by 939 Norwegian fire and rescue personnel. Multivariate methods have been used to identify the measurement model and the structural relations of the factors.
The results confirm the theoretical model and indicate that the outcome of learning is influenced by elements of content, context, commitment, decision-making and response and reflection, and that the influence of content and commitment on the outcome of learning is partially indirect and mediated through reflection.
To date, no systematic analysis has been conducted to investigate the factorial structure, as well as the interactions and relationship between the model’s components. This study makes an important contribution to a detailed understanding of learning within the fire and rescue services.
Bjørnsen, G., Dettweiler, U., Njå, O. and Knudsen, K. (2023), "Towards an understanding of learning within the Norwegian fire and rescue services – focusing on tunnel fire safety", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 112-128. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWL-04-2022-0051
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