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Fire Simulation and Cardiovascular Health in Firefighters
Background: Rates of myocardial infarction in firefighters are increased during fire suppression duties, and are likely to reflect a combination of factors including extreme physical exertion and heat exposure. We assessed the effects of simulated fire suppression on measures of cardiovascular health in healthy firefighters. Methods: In an open-label randomized crossover study, 19 healthy firefighters (age, 41±7 years; 16 males) performed a standardized training exercise in a fire simulation facility or light duties for 20 minutes. After each exposure, ex vivo thrombus formation, fibrinolysis...
Effect of heat on firefighters' work performance and physiology
Wildland firefighters often perform their duties under both hot and mild ambient temperatures. However, the direct impact of different ambient temperatures on firefighters' work performance has not been quantified. This study compared firefighters' work performance and physiology during simulated wildland firefighting work in hot (HOT; 32°C, 43% RH) and temperate (CON; 19°C, 56% RH) conditions. Firefighters (n=38), matched and allocated to either the CON (n=18) or HOT (n=20) condition, performed simulated self-paced wildland fire suppression tasks (e.g., hose rolling/dragging, raking...
Electrocardiographic Responses During Fire Suppression and Recovery Among Experienced Firefighters
Objective: We sought to evaluate the impact of high-intensity exertion and heat stress on electrocardiographic changes during fire suppression and recovery. Methods: Healthy firefighters completed a live-fire training evolution. Each firefighter was randomly assigned to complete either two or three intervals of fire suppression tasks followed by a structured recovery. Firefighters were continuously monitored using 12-lead Holter electrocardiogram. Results: Most firefighters (71.4%) exceeded their maximum heart rate and one third had pathological ST events. Nearly one third of each of these abnormalities...
Do Older Firefighters Show Long-Term Adaptations to Work in the Heat?
Older experienced firefighters may show signs of heat adaptation, and thus reduced physiological strain, due to repeated occupational heat stress exposure. The aim was to examine physiological and perceptual strain, and hydration, responses to intermittent exercise in the heat in 12 older Non-Firefighter (Non-FF) and experienced Firefighter (FF) males, pair matched for age (Group mean ± SE: Non-FF = 51.7 ± 1.5, FF = 49.8 ± 1.1 years), VO2peak (Non-FF = 39.4 ± 2.2, FF = 40.7 ± 1.8 mL·kg−1·min−1), body surface area (Non-FF = 1.94 ±...
Core temperature and heart rate response to repeated bouts of firefighting activities
During live-fire firefighting operations and training evolutions, firefighters often consume multiple cylinders of air and continue to wear their personal protective equipment even after fire suppression activities have ceased. However, most studies have only reported core temperature changes during short-term firefighting activities and have shown a very modest increase in core temperature. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate core temperature and heart rate (HR) during repeated bouts of firefighting activity over ∼3 h. The results of this study show that core temperatures increase...
Acute Cardiovascular Effects of Firefighting and Active Cooling During Rehabilitation
Objectives : To determine the cardiovascular and hemostatic effects of fire suppression and postexposure active cooling. Methods : Forty-four firefighters were evaluated before and after a 12-minute live-fire drill. Next, 50 firefighters performing the same drill were randomized to undergo postfire forearm immersion in 10[degrees]C water or standard rehabilitation. Results: In the first study, heart rate and core body temperature increased and serum C-reactive protein decreased but there were no significant changes in fibrinogen, sE-selectin, or sL-selectin. The second study demonstrated an increase...

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