This study aimed at exploring occupational well-being among volunteer firefighters (N=99). More in detail, we have investigated the influence of two important psychological resources, engagement and mindfulness, as protective factors against the risk of developing negative health effects, in terms of post-traumatic and psychosomatic symptoms. Firefighters completed the following self-report questionnaires: the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale- 9; the Mindful Awareness Attention Scale; the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale; and the General Health Questionnaire-12. The results, deriving from regression models, show that only mindfulness provides full protection against the risk of developing vicarious trauma and psychosomatic symptoms. From an applicative perspective, our findings suggest the importance of developing interventions aimed at increasing mindfulness, which may support volunteer firefighters in facing both chronic and acute occupational stressors.
Keywords: Volunteer firefighters, psychosomatic well-being, mindfulness, engagement