Heat exposure and sleep restriction on wildland firefighters





1. Summary

This study was designed to examine the effects of ambient heat on firefighters’ physical task

performance, and physiological and perceptual responses when sleep restricted during simulated

wildfire conditions. Thirty firefighters were randomly allocated to the sleep restricted (n = 17,

SR; 19C, 4-h sleep opportunity) or hot and sleep restricted (n = 13, HOT + SR; 33C, 4-h sleep

opportunity) condition. Firefighters performed two days of simulated, intermittent, self-paced

work circuits comprising six firefighting tasks. Heart rate, and core temperature were measured

continuously. After each task, firefighters reported their rating of perceived exertion and thermal

sensation. Effort sensation was also reported after each work circuit. Fluids were consumed ad

libitum. Urine volume and urine specific gravity were analysed. Sleep was monitored using

polysomnography. There were no differences between the SR and HOT + SR groups in firefighters’

physiological responses, hydration status, ratings of perceived exertion, motivation, and four of the

six firefighting tasks (charged hose advance, rake, hose rolling, static hose hold). Black out hose and

lateral repositioning were adversely affected in the HOT + SR group. Working in hot conditions

did not appear to consistently impair firefighters work performance, physiology, and perceptual

responses. Future research should determine whether such findings remain true when individual

tasks are performed over longer durations.

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Brinto Shalin
almost 3 years ago

The study was really good.This is really impressive analysis.Senior care Tampa really interested and like to know more on it

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