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Jamal L. Thruston1, Sarah N. Lanham1, Lance Bollinger1, Stuart Best1, Joseph Pastina1, Nick Heebner1, Jackson Miller1, Emily L. Langford2, Lauren T. Higginbotham1, Luis Monteiro3, Vanessa Santos4, Mark G. Abel1. 1University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. 2University of Montevallo, Montevallo, AL. 3Lusofona University, Lisbon, Portugal. 4ICPOL Research Center, Higher Institute of Police Sciences and Internal Security, Lisbon, Portugal.

BACKGROUND: Firefighting requires the completion of rigorous occupational tasks in austere environments that increase the risk of injury. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 65,000 firefighter injuries are reported annually. Specifically, regarding fireground injuries, 21% were the result of a slip/trip/fall and 40% were classified as a strain, sprain, or muscular pain. Fiscally, firefighter injuries cost the United States $1.6-5.9 billion and approximately $50,000-200,000 per fire department annually. To complete occupational tasks safely and effectively, NFPA 1583 recommends regular participation in exercise on-duty and pilot data indicate that 62% of firefighters perform resistance training on-duty. Despite the recommendation to perform on-duty exercise to enhance firefighter readiness, it is important to understand how exercise-induced fatigue may impact firefighters’ ability to safely perform occupational tasks in as little as 10 min post-exercise, as fatigue is considered a potential risk factor for slip/trip/fall-related injuries. Therefore, the aim of this investigation is to determine the impact of exercise-induced fatigue on firefighters’ injury risk. METHODS: A convenience sample of 20 apparently healthy career structural firefighters (Age: 18-55 yr) will be recruited from a local fire department. Participants will complete 3 testing sessions, separated by at least 72 hours. During session #1 participants’ anthropometrics and familiarization trials will be completed for the Functional Balance Test, postural sway, single-leg drop jump (SLDJ), and isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP). In addition, the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test and 5 and 10 RM assessments will be conducted. Sessions #2 and #3 will be randomized, where participants will complete a heavy resistance (5RM loads, 2 min passive recovery) or circuit training (10RM loads, 45 s passive recovery) session. Balance, neuromuscular, and IMTP assessments will be conducted pre- and 10 min post-exercise. Repeated measures ANOVA (Time x Training Intervention) will be used to compare performance outcomes over time and between interventions. The level of significance will be set at p < 0.05. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: It is hypothesized that IMTP force parameters will decrease post-exercise, demonstrating a fatigue response and that Functional Balance Test, postural sway, SLDJ outcomes will deteriorate.

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