Sheet of BORN Pauline

BORN Pauline
Temporary Teaching and Research Assistants
E-mail :
  • Thesis
  • Publications
  • CV (File PDF)

Thesis defended on 6 April 2023

Thesis supervisor: Sophie Morlaix
Thesis co-director: Claire Bonnard
Title of the thesis: The impact of the initial training of volunteer firefighters on their professionalization and professional practices
Abstract of the thesis :The aim of my thesis was to contribute to a better understanding of the initial training of volunteer firefighters, with a particular focus on the process by which this training is appropriated, the process of professionalization and the obstacles encountered by this population.

Using a mixed-methods approach, 330 volunteer fire fighters still in service were questioned by questionnaire as part of a longitudinal survey, while 42 individuals who had ended their involvement during their initial training were consulted by means of semi-structured interviews. Sixteen direct observation sessions supplemented the data collection.

The results first of all show that different types of ownership can emerge among volunteer firefighters, depending on several internal and external factors that influence them. Three internal and three external factors in particular were identified. These are, firstly, the meaning attributed by the individual to his training, his relationship with knowledge and his motivation in the training activity, and secondly, his perception of the trainer, the group of learners and the assessment. These factors interact with each other and play a part in the appropriation process. The meaning attributed to the training and the trainer’s perception appear to be the most decisive factors.

In addition, a form of implicit selection takes place during this initial training, and more broadly during the first few years of involvement, particularly through the obstacles that stand in the way of certain profiles that are not well represented in the sector. Faced with these difficulties, they gradually give up the efforts needed to develop their professionalism. They appear demotivated and uninvolved, and end up dropping out.

Finally, in relation to the variety of ways in which initial training is appropriated, the results showed that the level of professionalization of volunteer fire fighters is not uniform in the years following the end of this training: some appear to be highly professionalized, while others are less so. What’s more, initial training plays a less important role than expected in the professionalization process, in which the investment of individuals appears, on the other hand, to be essential.



CV (File PDF)