Advancing Age and the Cardiorespiratory Stress of Fire Suppression: Determining a Minimum Standard for Aerobic Fitness

Mark S. Sothmann, Kurt W. Saupe, Deborah Jasenof, Joseph Blaney, Susan Donahue Fuhrman, Thomas Woulfe, Peter B. Raven, James P. Pawelczyk, Charles O. Dotson, Frank J. Landy, James J. Smith, Paul O. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study establishes and subsequently validates a minimum cutoff for the cardiovascular fitness of firefighters. Volunteers (n = 150) representing five discrete age classifications from 20 to 65 years were selected randomly for testing on their cardiovascular and pulmonary status. Discriminant function analysis was used to identify a group (n = 20) of firefighters to be monitored on heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (vo,), and inspired ventilation (v,) during performance of a simulated fire-suppression protocol. Average VO, rnax of the subject group was 39.9 + 5.1 mlskg-lamin-1. They worked at 76 + 8% of VO, rnax with a V, of 46.7 + 3.4 lomin-1. The HR attained was 173 + 9 beatdmin. Based on these data a minimum VO, rnax of 33.5 ml. kg-1-min-1 was proposed as appropriate in order to maintain performance effectiveness. Concurrent validity of the proposed cutoff was examined in 32 additional firefighters. Individuals with VO, max values between 33.5-5 1.0 ml kg- I. min- had a significantly higher probability of successfully completing a fire-suppression protocol than firefighters with a VO, rnax between 26.0-33.49 ml.kgl.min -1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-236
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Performance
Volume3
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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