Professional fire-fighters pursue a profession that includes interventions and are thus directly exposed to various kinds of danger. Their work demands regular stand-by duty and commitment. Continuous exposure to crisis and stressful situations has a significant impact on the life of fire-fighters. It is reflected at the physical, emotional, behavioural level of a fire-fighter and in the field of interrelationships. The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of stress at work, the level of awareness-raising and expressing emotions of professional fire-fighters when experiencing stressful situations at work and their sense of self-control. The study also addressed the issue how self-control is related to experiencing satisfaction with partnership relationships and family life. It included 389 participants, of which 125 were professional fire-fighters and 264 voluntary fire-fighters. The research work included a control group, i.e. voluntary fire-fighters. The purpose was to compare the respective groups of fire-fighters in terms of the above-stated characteristics or phenomena and to establish if there are any statistically significant differences between them. In collecting data, several basic demographic fire-fighting questions were asked, and then four questionnaires were used, namely: Questionnaire related to Emotional Approach Coping (EAC), Self-Control Schedule (SCS), Kansas Marital Satisfaction Scale (KMS), and Kansas Family Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (KFLS). The statistical significant positive correlation was established between the stressfulness of the post of fire-fighters and their processing and expressing emotions. It was also established that greater ability of professional fire-fighters to express emotions means greater satisfaction in partnership relationships. In terms of comparisons between the groups, the results obtained indicate that there are statistically significant differences between the respective groups of fire-fighters, namely: in experiencing stress in some interventions and certain crisis situations. These interventions and crisis situations present greater stress to voluntary fire-fighters compared to professional fire-fighters. There are also statistically significant differences between professional and voluntary fire-fighters with regard to the sense of self-control. It was established that voluntary fire-fighters have a greater sense of self-control compared to the professional fire-fighters.
The results are consistent with the literature and researches which are related to the stress of the fire-fighters work. Work is inherently stressful and requires appropriate psychosocial treatment. We do not have appropriate attention to the professional and voluntary fire-fighters, especially in terms of professional assistance and help. The »syndrome of uniformed employees« is still present among professional fire-fighters, which means that they difficult express their emotions and rarely ask or admit that they need help. Therefore, they are often overlooked and neglected. Most of stress and crisis situations are perceived as a normal part of their profession. There are no researches or results on emotional regulation and self-control in their profession, which can help them dictate how to successfully deal with stress and trauma. Especially, how to improve interpersonal relationships, in partner and family life. These findings open new questions and point to an important area that needs to be further explored, in particular with a view to designing psychosocial interventions for better emotional regulation, coping with stress and a better quality of life for both groups, professional and volunteer fire-fighters.