Firefighting

HEAT STRESS IN THE TRAINING ENVIRONMENT

Issue 3 and Volume 151.

HEAT STRESS IN THE TRAINING ENVIRONMENT BY DAVID F. CLARK, F.F., M.Ed.; DENISE L. SMITH, Ph.D.; STEVEN J. PETRUZZELLO, Ph.D.; AND BRADLEY G. BONE, F.F., R.N. Since 1992, the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, in conjunction with the University of Illinois Department of Kinesiology and the Department of Physical Education and Dance at Skidmore College in New York, has been investigating the problems of heat stress induced by firefighting tasks and compounded by turnout gear. The initial laboratory-based study, reported in the November 1994 and February 1996 issues of Fire Engineering, showed that firefighters experienced significantly greater cardiovascular, respiratory, and thermoregulatory stress and greater perceived exertion during standardized submaximal treadmill walking when wearing NFPA 1500 full encapsulation turnout gear than when wearing the hip boot and coat ensemble. Also, with full encapsulation, the distress took longer to abate after the work period was over. Firefighting involves strenuous physical activity…

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