International Journal of Exercise Science 8(4): 341-357, 2015. In an effort to reduce the rates of firefighter fatality, injury, and workplace stress, there has been a call for research to advance knowledge of firefighting performance and injury prevention. Physical and psychological variables important to firefighter health and performance have been identified, yet the interrelated nature of these variables has been overlooked. Given the overlap between the physical and psychological demands of firefighting and sport, and given that an integrated framework has been used in the sport domain to guide athlete health and performance research and practice, firefighter organizations could benefit from adopting a sport-based, integrated model of firefighter training and performance management. Guided by the Meyer Athlete Performance Management Model (MAPM), the purposes of the current study were to: (a) describe the physical and psychological characteristics of firefighters-in-training (i.e., cadets and recruits), and (b) explore relationships between the physical and psychological variables associated with health and performance. Firefighters-in-training employed by a Midwestern area fire department in the United States (N = 34) completed a battery of physical and psychological assessments at the department’s Fire and Safety Academy building. Results of the current study revealed significant correlations between several of the physical and psychological characteristics of firefighters-in-training. These results, along with the multidimensional data set that was also established in the current study, provide preliminary evidence for the use of a sport-based integrated performance model such as the MAPM to guide training and performance research in firefighter populations.
Gnacinski, Stacy L.; Meyer, Barbara B.; Cornell, David J.; Mims, Jason; Zalewski, Kathryn R.; and Ebersole, Kyle T.
"Tactical Athletes: An Integrated Approach to Understanding and Enhancing the Health and Performance of Firefighters-in-Training,"
International Journal of Exercise Science:
4, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol8/iss4/4