Date of Submission

Spring 6-12-2017

Document Type



Doctor of Education



OIP Defense Chair

Dr. Brenton Faubert


firefighters, mental health, mental wellness, networked improvement communities, positive psychology, appreciative inquiry, positive leadership


The purpose of this Organizational Improvement Plan (OIP) is to offer the potential groundwork to enhance the current support services of a union representing firefighters in Canada. The hope is to address the growing number of firefighters that are afflicted with Occupational Stress Injuries (OSI) and to provide a more comprehensive positive approach to mitigate the psychological effects and professional ramifications of the consistent exposure to traumatic events and other associated occupational stressors. The aim is to leverage the existing structure and resources to address the Problem of Practice (PoP): How can union leaders effectively address the increasing prevalence of occupational stress injuries impacting their members?

Traditionally, the focus of helping first responders has been very retroactive and about treating psychological injuries after they have occurred. More recently, resources are being shifted to deliver some preventative measures. This OIP offers a new context for this problem. Through the use and establishment of a variation of the Networked Improvement Communities (NIC) model, the union will be able to better respond to this problem by supporting their members to perform at their psychological best, rather than trying to prevent the worst outcomes. This OIP uses the concepts and frameworks from positive psychology and appreciative inquiry as a means of organizational cultural transformation and the elevation of mental wellness within the workplace.