Emma Robbins1, Davis Hale1, & Roger Kollock1

1The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Many tasks required during firefighting include driving vehicles, carrying equipment, raising ladders, climbing stairs, operating hose lines, forcible entries, crawling and searching, and victim drags require adequate muscle strength and power. Very little research details the potential differences in muscle strengthening behaviors and strength outcomes across career firefighters in a given department. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate potential differences in isometric mid-thigh pull muscle strength (IMTP), vertical jump height (VJ) and right and left-hand grip strength (R+L Grip) scores based on self-reported muscle strengthening behaviors in career firefighters. METHODS: During their annual fitness assessment, career firefighters (n=367) completed a Muscle-Strengthening Exercise Questionnaire Short Form (MSEQ). Cases were removed prior to final data analysis if there were any missing responses or missing measurements. The MSEQ asked about muscle strengthening behaviors such as time spent per week exercising, the intensity of each session, the types of muscle strengthening exercise performed and what muscle groups were targeted in these exercises. Responses were scored using the MSEQ concordance scoring which categorized behaviors into four levels: Full, Modest, Minimal, and Not Met. IMTP, VJ and R+L Grip data was extracted from the firefighter’s annual fitness assessment. RESULTS: A one-way ANOVA with post-hoc comparisons was conducted for IMTP, VJ, and R+L Grip with the significance level set at .05. Results indicated a significant difference between IMTP (F=3.5, p=.015) and VJ (F=10.1, p=.001) across the four concordance scoring categories with the highest scores occurring in the Full group and lowest scores in the Not Met group. R+L Grip differences were not detected (F=.71, p=.547) across the four categories. CONCLUSION: The more muscle strengthening exercises a career firefighter completes in a week yields greater outcomes in isometric mid-thigh pull strength and vertical jump height scores.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge

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