Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks

Anthony Walker, Christos Argus, Matthew Driller, Ben Rattray

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

    Abstract

    Introduction. To ameliorate the effects of steam and chemical ingress during firefighting operations, modern Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) require the presence of a moisture barrier. Little research has been undertaken evaluating the impact of this barrier on physiology of firefighters working in different environments. Methods. Ten Australian recruit firefighters (5 per group), (mean ±SD age 30.8 ± 5.8 years), undertook one of two 20 minute simulated firefighting tasks separated by a 10 minute recovery period; 1) In a heat chamber set at 120 °C, filled with smoke, firefighters conducted a search and rescue task 2) At ambient temperatures (17 °C), firefighters completed firefighting activities. After the recovery period, the task was repeated. A randomised order crossover design saw participants wearing PPC containing either a moisture barrier (BARR) or no moisture barrier (NBAR). Results. Relative to NBAR (37.7 ± 0.7 °C) BARR showed a moderate increase in core temperatures (38.0 ± 0.5 °C, η2=0.096) and a small increase in air consumption (NBAR 64.5 ± 8.3 L.min-1, BARR 66.6 ± 1.9 L.min-1, η2=0.037) in the ambient condition group. No meaningful differences for skin temperature or change in body mass were observed. Compared with NBAR (39.0 ± 0.6 °C), BARR resulted in higher skin temperatures (39.6 ± 0.6 °C, η2=0.178) and greater air consumption (NBAR 45.8 ± 7.5 L.min-1, BARR 48.7 L.min-1 ± 7.1, η2=0.044) and a greater change in body mass (NBAR 2.4 ± 0.6 %, BARR 2.6 ± 0.9 %, η2=0.021) in the heat chamber. No differences for core temperatures were observed in the heat chamber group. Conclusion. The presence of a moisture barrier in structural firefighting PPC may be increasing thermal stress encountered in firefighting settings. Increased strain resulting from design changes may require re-evaluation of work practices to account for the stress of wearing structural PPC when responding to emergencies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationScience of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics
    EditorsAndrew Edwards, Anthony Leicht
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherNova Science Publishers
    Pages91-102
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781631177392
    ISBN (Print)9781631177378
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

    Fingerprint

    Protective Clothing
    Firefighters
    Hot Temperature
    Skin Temperature
    Temperature
    Air
    Steam
    Smoke
    Cross-Over Studies
    Emergencies
    Research

    Cite this

    Walker, A., Argus, C., Driller, M., & Rattray, B. (2014). Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks. In A. Edwards, & A. Leicht (Eds.), Science of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics (pp. 91-102). New York: Nova Science Publishers.
    Walker, Anthony ; Argus, Christos ; Driller, Matthew ; Rattray, Ben. / Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks. Science of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics. editor / Andrew Edwards ; Anthony Leicht. New York : Nova Science Publishers, 2014. pp. 91-102
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    title = "Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks",
    abstract = "Introduction. To ameliorate the effects of steam and chemical ingress during firefighting operations, modern Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) require the presence of a moisture barrier. Little research has been undertaken evaluating the impact of this barrier on physiology of firefighters working in different environments. Methods. Ten Australian recruit firefighters (5 per group), (mean ±SD age 30.8 ± 5.8 years), undertook one of two 20 minute simulated firefighting tasks separated by a 10 minute recovery period; 1) In a heat chamber set at 120 °C, filled with smoke, firefighters conducted a search and rescue task 2) At ambient temperatures (17 °C), firefighters completed firefighting activities. After the recovery period, the task was repeated. A randomised order crossover design saw participants wearing PPC containing either a moisture barrier (BARR) or no moisture barrier (NBAR). Results. Relative to NBAR (37.7 ± 0.7 °C) BARR showed a moderate increase in core temperatures (38.0 ± 0.5 °C, η2=0.096) and a small increase in air consumption (NBAR 64.5 ± 8.3 L.min-1, BARR 66.6 ± 1.9 L.min-1, η2=0.037) in the ambient condition group. No meaningful differences for skin temperature or change in body mass were observed. Compared with NBAR (39.0 ± 0.6 °C), BARR resulted in higher skin temperatures (39.6 ± 0.6 °C, η2=0.178) and greater air consumption (NBAR 45.8 ± 7.5 L.min-1, BARR 48.7 L.min-1 ± 7.1, η2=0.044) and a greater change in body mass (NBAR 2.4 ± 0.6 {\%}, BARR 2.6 ± 0.9 {\%}, η2=0.021) in the heat chamber. No differences for core temperatures were observed in the heat chamber group. Conclusion. The presence of a moisture barrier in structural firefighting PPC may be increasing thermal stress encountered in firefighting settings. Increased strain resulting from design changes may require re-evaluation of work practices to account for the stress of wearing structural PPC when responding to emergencies.",
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    Walker, A, Argus, C, Driller, M & Rattray, B 2014, Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks. in A Edwards & A Leicht (eds), Science of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics. Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 91-102.

    Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks. / Walker, Anthony; Argus, Christos; Driller, Matthew; Rattray, Ben.

    Science of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics. ed. / Andrew Edwards; Anthony Leicht. New York : Nova Science Publishers, 2014. p. 91-102.

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter

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    T1 - Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks

    AU - Walker, Anthony

    AU - Argus, Christos

    AU - Driller, Matthew

    AU - Rattray, Ben

    PY - 2014/1/1

    Y1 - 2014/1/1

    N2 - Introduction. To ameliorate the effects of steam and chemical ingress during firefighting operations, modern Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) require the presence of a moisture barrier. Little research has been undertaken evaluating the impact of this barrier on physiology of firefighters working in different environments. Methods. Ten Australian recruit firefighters (5 per group), (mean ±SD age 30.8 ± 5.8 years), undertook one of two 20 minute simulated firefighting tasks separated by a 10 minute recovery period; 1) In a heat chamber set at 120 °C, filled with smoke, firefighters conducted a search and rescue task 2) At ambient temperatures (17 °C), firefighters completed firefighting activities. After the recovery period, the task was repeated. A randomised order crossover design saw participants wearing PPC containing either a moisture barrier (BARR) or no moisture barrier (NBAR). Results. Relative to NBAR (37.7 ± 0.7 °C) BARR showed a moderate increase in core temperatures (38.0 ± 0.5 °C, η2=0.096) and a small increase in air consumption (NBAR 64.5 ± 8.3 L.min-1, BARR 66.6 ± 1.9 L.min-1, η2=0.037) in the ambient condition group. No meaningful differences for skin temperature or change in body mass were observed. Compared with NBAR (39.0 ± 0.6 °C), BARR resulted in higher skin temperatures (39.6 ± 0.6 °C, η2=0.178) and greater air consumption (NBAR 45.8 ± 7.5 L.min-1, BARR 48.7 L.min-1 ± 7.1, η2=0.044) and a greater change in body mass (NBAR 2.4 ± 0.6 %, BARR 2.6 ± 0.9 %, η2=0.021) in the heat chamber. No differences for core temperatures were observed in the heat chamber group. Conclusion. The presence of a moisture barrier in structural firefighting PPC may be increasing thermal stress encountered in firefighting settings. Increased strain resulting from design changes may require re-evaluation of work practices to account for the stress of wearing structural PPC when responding to emergencies.

    AB - Introduction. To ameliorate the effects of steam and chemical ingress during firefighting operations, modern Personal Protective Clothing (PPC) require the presence of a moisture barrier. Little research has been undertaken evaluating the impact of this barrier on physiology of firefighters working in different environments. Methods. Ten Australian recruit firefighters (5 per group), (mean ±SD age 30.8 ± 5.8 years), undertook one of two 20 minute simulated firefighting tasks separated by a 10 minute recovery period; 1) In a heat chamber set at 120 °C, filled with smoke, firefighters conducted a search and rescue task 2) At ambient temperatures (17 °C), firefighters completed firefighting activities. After the recovery period, the task was repeated. A randomised order crossover design saw participants wearing PPC containing either a moisture barrier (BARR) or no moisture barrier (NBAR). Results. Relative to NBAR (37.7 ± 0.7 °C) BARR showed a moderate increase in core temperatures (38.0 ± 0.5 °C, η2=0.096) and a small increase in air consumption (NBAR 64.5 ± 8.3 L.min-1, BARR 66.6 ± 1.9 L.min-1, η2=0.037) in the ambient condition group. No meaningful differences for skin temperature or change in body mass were observed. Compared with NBAR (39.0 ± 0.6 °C), BARR resulted in higher skin temperatures (39.6 ± 0.6 °C, η2=0.178) and greater air consumption (NBAR 45.8 ± 7.5 L.min-1, BARR 48.7 L.min-1 ± 7.1, η2=0.044) and a greater change in body mass (NBAR 2.4 ± 0.6 %, BARR 2.6 ± 0.9 %, η2=0.021) in the heat chamber. No differences for core temperatures were observed in the heat chamber group. Conclusion. The presence of a moisture barrier in structural firefighting PPC may be increasing thermal stress encountered in firefighting settings. Increased strain resulting from design changes may require re-evaluation of work practices to account for the stress of wearing structural PPC when responding to emergencies.

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    Walker A, Argus C, Driller M, Rattray B. Physiological responses to design adaptations in firefighting PPC during simulated firefighting tasks. In Edwards A, Leicht A, editors, Science of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics. New York: Nova Science Publishers. 2014. p. 91-102