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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Occupational Tasks on Firefighter Hydration During a Live Structural Fire

1
Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast 4226, Australia
2
Tactical Research Unit, Bond University, Gold Coast 4226, Australia
3
School of Community Health, Charles Sturt University, Albury 2640, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Safety 2019, 5(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety5020036
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 26 May 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 7 June 2019
Structural firefighting is a highly stressful occupation with firefighters performing intense bouts of physical activity in environmental extremes while wearing impermeable, heavy and restrictive personal protective equipment. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of performing occupational tasks during an active structural fire on firefighters’ hydration status. Nine fully qualified firefighters (mean ± SD age = 39.22 ± 7.89 years) completed a 15 min ‘live’ fire scenario while performing occupational tasks. Urine Specific Gravity (USG), body weight and tympanic membrane temperature were measured pre-scenario and at 0 and 20 min post-scenario. There was a significant decrease in body weight (0 min and 20 min p < 0.0005) and increase in tympanic membrane temperature (0 min and 20 min p < 0.0005) following the fire scenario. There was no significant change in USG post-scenario. Short duration firefighting operations can cause significant fluid loss, as measured by change in body weight but not necessarily USG. View Full-Text
Keywords: firefighters; structural fires; occupational health; hydration; fire suppression firefighters; structural fires; occupational health; hydration; fire suppression
MDPI and ACS Style

Walker, A.; Pope, R.; Schram, B.; Gorey, R.; Orr, R. The Impact of Occupational Tasks on Firefighter Hydration During a Live Structural Fire. Safety 2019, 5, 36.

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