Firefighter Health, Injury, and Performance - The Occupational Athlete
Firefighters are a unique occupational group due to the high physical and mental demands to successfully fulfill job performance responsibilities. The Fire Service Joint Labor Management Wellness-Fitness Initiative emphasizes a wellness approach to evaluation and development of programs resulting in fit, healthy, and capable firefighters. It has been suggested that in comparison to unfit firefighters, fit firefighters are likely to perform the job of a firefighter more safely and efficiently, resulting in decreased risk for injury to them and fellow firefighters. Recently, the literature has begun to utilize the term "occupational athlete" when referencing firefighters. However, current assessment practices are more related to fitness then athletic performance. This research opportunity is part of an on-going, long-term project with the Milwaukee Fire Department to examine measures of fitness, health, and performance in active duty firefighters, recruits, and cadets.