STRUCTURAL FIREFIGHTING IS A PHYSICALLY DEMANDING AND HAZARDOUS PROFESSION THAT REQUIRES SUFFICIENT LEVELS OF PHYSICAL FITNESS TO ENHANCE OCCUPATIONAL PREPAREDNESS, SAFETY, AND HEALTH. A COMPREHENSIVE EXERCISE PROGRAM SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED TO ACHIEVE THE REQUISITE PHYSICAL FITNESS. A NEEDS ANALYSIS IS PRESENTED TO ENSURE THAT AN EXERCISE PROGRAM ADDRESSES THE PHYSIOLOGICAL AND BIOMECHANICAL DEMANDS OF OCCUPATIONAL TASKS. IDENTIFYING SPECIFIC NEEDS WILL PROMOTE ENHANCED WORK EFFICIENCY AND A DECREASED RISK OF FIRE GROUND INJURIES AND CHRONIC DISEASE. IN ADDITION, THE FIREFIGHTING OCCUPATION PRESENTS INHERENT CHALLENGES TO DEVELOPING AN APPROPRIATE TRAINING PROGRAM. PROGRAMMATIC TRAINING STRATEGIES ARE PRESENTED TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES.
1Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky; and
2School of Human Services, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The authors report no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.
Mark G. Abel is a former firefighter and currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
Thomas G. Palmer is an Assistant Professor in the Athletic Training Education Program in the School of Human Services at the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.
Nick Trubee is a PhD student in Exercise Physiology in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY .