Structural Firefighting, Thermal Stress and Return to Work

Richard J Gorey, Rodney R Pope, Rob Marc Orr

Research output: Contribution to conferencePresentationResearchpeer-review

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Aim: To investigate the impact of structural firefighting on firefighter hydration. Design: Prospective Cohort Study. Methods: Three separate studies, following similar structural firefighting tasks, were conducted over three years. Participants (2014 n=7, 2016 n= 7, 2017 n=22), who were qualified firefighters, conducted a 15-minute series of tasks associated with fire suppression in a specifically adapted training container whilst dressed in standard authorised PPE (mean weight 21.39±0.68 kg), and a 6.8 L Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (9.6 kg full and 8.6 kg empty). The temperatures imparted by the fire ranged from 40-51 degrees at 0.3 m above floor to 458-572 degrees at ceiling height. Measures included tympanic (2014, 2016, 2017), skin (2014) and core body temperature (2017), body weight (2014, 2016, 2017) and urine specific gravity (2014, 2016, 2017). Results: On multiple occasions firefighters commenced duties in a state of dehydration. Skin temperatures while wearing personal protective equipment were significantly higher than ambient temperatures. Significant increases in tympanic and core body temperatures (p<.001), and decreases in body weight (p<.01) were found following suppression tasks. There were no significant changes in urin specific gravity. Conclusion: Firefighters experienced notable thermal stress when conducting fire suppression tasks wearing personal protective equipment.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2017
EventAPA National Physiotherapy Conference MOMENTUM 2017 - Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 19 Oct 201721 Oct 2017


ConferenceAPA National Physiotherapy Conference MOMENTUM 2017
Abbreviated titleAPA
OtherAustralian Physiotherapy Association (APA) Momentum 2017 is organized by Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and would be held during Oct 19 - 21, 2017 at Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The target audience for this medical meeting basically for Physicians.

Physiotherapists have always been innovators in health, pushing forward to deliver excellent patient outcomes.

As the healthcare landscape becomes more competitive, it is important to keep moving with the changes. MOMENTUM 2017, the APA national conference will empower you to be part of the future of Australian and global physiotherapy.

Join with the rest of the profession to hear from leaders in physiotherapy about the latest clinical research. Meet the people you need to know to help you grow in your profession and discover the newest innovations.


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