Training Implications for Firefighters through objective Measurement of the Physiological Demands of Firefighter Job Tasks
Dierdra K Bycura*, Christopher P Repka, Anthony C Santos and Nanette V Lopez
Journal Title:American Journal of Biomedical Science AND Research
The purpose of this study was to describe the direct measurement of physiological demands of firefighter job tasks within a modified Candidate Physical Abilities Test (CPAT) broken out by specific task. Twenty male firefighters from a large municipal fire department in the southwest United States participated in the study. To directly measure cardiorespiratory demands of firefighting job tasks, the study incorporated the measurement of individual firefighter physiological demands on four different physiological variables (VO2, Heart Rate-HR, Respiratory Exchange Ratio-RER, Energy Expenditure per Minute-EEM). These four variables were measured during participant completion of a modified physical protocol for firefighters (CPAT); 8 tasks repeated for 15 minutes in duration at baseline, 6 weeks post-baseline, and 14 weeks post-baseline, using the Cosmed K4b2 portable metabolic system. Tukey’s HSD comparison test was performed to compare the differences between responses of each task (p ≤ 0.05). Results demonstrated significant differences between some tasks. VO2 requirement to complete the tasks increased from baseline to 14 weeks post-baseline while RER decreased. Knowledge of physiological work required of specific and accumulated firefighter job tasks could inform type of training, timing and fitness ability needed to safely perform job tasks and directly target fitness maintenance for the job.