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A Fulbright to Protect First Responders


Brian Maguire, clinical associate professor of emergency health studies (EHS), has won a 2009 Fulbright Scholarship to expand his groundbreaking research on the occupational risks among ambulance personnel. Maguire will spend four months in Australia in 2010, working on his research and teaching at three Australian universities: Edith Cowan, Charles Sturt and Flinders.

Maguire's previous research projects were the first to document the occupational injury and fatality rates among emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in the U.S. EMS workers face a host of on-the-job health risks: everything from common back injuries, strains and sprains to more serious injuries caused by ambulance accidents and assaults by patients.

"The occupational injury and fatality rates for American EMS professionals are far above the national average,"said Maguire, a former New York City paramedic, emergency services manager and health care administrator. "But because of a lack of research on the topic, it's been hard to convince people outside the profession of the serious occupational hazards. As a result, little has been done to make the job safer."

"The Fulbright award will permit me to work toward developing lessons learned and best practices to protect the lives and health of emergency services personnel around the world."

The UMBC EHS department provides the only graduate program of its kind in the world. For over a decade it has been providing graduate education online and has drawn students from Europe, Asia, Africa and all over the U.S. The department has been providing emergency medical services (EMS) education since 1982, including a bachelor's degree, certification programs that have been offered on-site in dozens of countries and a program that trained the 10,000 members of the National Disaster Medical System.

Maguire has been a member of the EHS faculty since 1999. He is associate director of the emergency health services graduate program and director of the Center for Emergency Education and Disaster Research (CEEDR). He has been a consultant to the Department of Homeland Security and numerous health departments in the areas of bio-terrorism and disaster preparedness, an international consultant for systems development as well as a committee member for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Ambulance Association in the areas of ambulance and workforce safety.

Posted: April 23, 2009, 12:00 PM