Matthew S. Brock, Alyssa Eastman, Emily Langford, Nick Heebner, Mark G. Abel. University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Background: Firefighting is comprised of strenuous occupational tasks that require adequate physical fitness levels to meet essential demands. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that firefighters perform regular exercise while on-duty to meet these demands. Despite the fitness and occupational benefits, physical training has been shown to induce a substantial number of injuries to firefighters that carry financial and personal health consequences. Unfortunately, there is limited research elucidating potential intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional risks factors associated with exercise training-related injury occurrence. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to describe the prevalence of exercise-induced injuries and identify risk factors associated with these injuries among structural firefighters. METHODS: A cross-sectional design will be used to determine the prevalence/incidence of exercise-induced injuries among career firefighters, as well as to determine their perceptions about exercise-related injury risk factors. The target sample includes approximately 2,000 male and female career structural firefighters in the United States. Initially, focus groups will be used to guide survey development and ensure its validity for the target population and intent. Subsequently, data will be collected through electronic survey responses sent via email to participating fire departments. Qualtrics software will be used to develop and administer the electronic survey and descriptive statistics will be used to display measures of central tendency and dispersion in subject responses. Logistic regression analysis will be used to predict injury status given intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional factors reported as cause of injury. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: We hypothesize that the injury rate will be about 20% and several intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional factors will be associated with exercise-induced injuries.

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