Development of role-related minimum cardiorespiratory fitness standards for firefighters and commanders

Siddall, A. G., Stevenson, R. D. M., Turner, P. J. F., Stokes, K. and Bilzon, J. L. J. (2016) Development of role-related minimum cardiorespiratory fitness standards for firefighters and commanders. Ergonomics, 59 (10). pp. 1335-1343. ISSN 0014-0139

[thumbnail of This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Ergonomics on 06/02/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00140139.2015.1135997]
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Abstract

A minimum cardiorespiratory fitness standard was derived for firefighters following a metabolic demands analysis. Design and minimal acceptable performance of generic firefighting task simulations (i.e. hose running, casualty evacuation, stair climb, equipment carry, wild-land fire) were endorsed by a panel of operationally experienced experts. Sixty-two UK firefighters completed these tasks wearing a standard protective firefighting ensemble while being monitored for peak steady-state metabolic demand and cardiovascular strain. Four tasks, endorsed as valid operational simulations by ≥90% of participants (excluding wild-land fire; 84%), were deemed to be a sufficiently valid and reliable basis for a fitness standard. These tasks elicited an average peak steady-state metabolic cost of 38.1 ± 7.8 ml kg−1 min−1. It is estimated that healthy adults can sustain the total duration of these tasks (~16 min) at ≤90% maximum oxygen uptake and a cardiorespiratory fitness standard of ≥42.3 ml kg−1 min−1 would be required to sustain work.

Practitioner Summary: A cardiorespiratory fitness standard for firefighters of ≥42.3 ml kg−1 min−1 was derived from monitoring minimum acceptable performance of essential tasks. This study supports the implementation of a routine assessment of this fitness standard for all UK operational firefighters, to ensure safe physical preparedness for occupational performance.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical Demands Analysis; Metabolic cost; Oxygen uptake; Firefighting; Rolerelated fitness; Physical Employment Standards.
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Sport > Area > Exercise Physiology
Depositing User: Andy Siddall
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2019 14:01
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2021 13:46
URI: https://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/4270

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