The article reports the results of a survey carried out with 348 volunteer rescuers in ambulance belonging to Croce Verde Verona. It focuses on their motivations to a voluntary choice that exposes to such psychosocial risks as distress and burnout. These risks are also linked to the motivations (self-centred or other-centred, intrinsic or extrinsic) that lead people to this kind of choice. Extrinsic and self-centred motivations make people vulnerable to the distress factors of being a volunteer in ambulance, since those risks are not adequately represented in the minds of people with these motivations. In the hypothesis that different demographic variables are correlated to different motivations, the study has investigated any differences in the declared motivations between different groups of volunteers: males and females, young and old, singles and paired. Results show that the females are characterized by intrinsic, other-centred motivations, the males by self-centred motivations, both intrinsic and extrinsic, while the singles by intrinsic, self-centred motivations.
Keywords: Motivations for volunteering, psychosocial risks, emergency psychology