Chapter 10

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Chapter 10

  1. 1. Chapter 10 Reading Firefighters
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><li>List the three factors that lead to overexertion, the three ergonomic factors that can produce injury, and the three strategies to mitigate ergonomic hazards </li></ul><ul><li>List the three factors that impact human cell performance, explain its chemistry, and define fuel replacement strategies to increase it </li></ul>
  3. 3. Objectives (con’t.) <ul><li>Discuss the two types of thermal stress </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the role of hydration in preventing injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Define the four Rs of firefighter rehabilitation </li></ul>
  4. 4. Reading Firefighters – Is It Possible? <ul><li>Human performance depends on many factors </li></ul><ul><li>Overexertion is the leading cause of injuries (and deaths) at incidents </li></ul><ul><li>Reading firefighters involves the evaluation of factors that lead to overexertion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fire service has actually set up firefighters to be injured </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Reading Firefighters – Is It Possible? (con’t.) <ul><li>The overexertion setup </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firefighters are the only professional athletes who work at peak performance without warm up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physical and mental challenges are required at a moment’s notice when an incident occurs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Essence of fire service professionalism: the ability to function safely at all times </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solution: address physical and mental demands of firefighters </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Reading Firefighters – Is It Possible? (con’t.) <ul><li>Overexertion resistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firefighters should be physically fit to resist overexertion and injury </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proactively aim for strength, flexibility, and aerobic fitness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adopt program for efficient fueling for their metabolism </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Know how their bodies respond to stress </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Figure 10-1 The physically fit firefighter can resist overexertion longer with minimal injury risk.
  8. 8. Reading Firefighters – Is It Possible? (con’t.) <ul><li>Overexertion realities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ISOs must deal with “here-and-now” overexertion threats regardless of firefighters’ preventive fitness efforts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ISOs can address human overexertion factors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ergonomics </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Physiology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Rehab efforts </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Ergonomics <ul><li>The science of adapting work or work conditions to a worker </li></ul><ul><li>The study of problems associated with people adjusting to their work environment </li></ul><ul><li>A firefighter’s workplace includes the fire station, apparatus, and the incident scene </li></ul>
  10. 10. Figure 10-2 Firefighters seldom find an “ergonomically friendly” workplace.
  11. 11. Ergonomics (con’t.) <ul><li>Ergonomic stressors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The physical environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Surface conditions, temperature variations, lighting, equipment, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship of the worker to the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bending, ascending or descending, pushing, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task being attempted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Energy and amount of focus required </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Task priority and number of people </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Ergonomics (con’t.) <ul><li>Ergonomic abatement strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Warnings and reminders </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Altering environment, task, or personnel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Acclimation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually done proactively </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fitness programs, prehydration, stretching exercises prior to assignment </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Firefighter Physiology <ul><li>Physiological performance depends on metabolic processing (cell chemistry) of firefighter </li></ul><ul><li>Factors that affect cell chemistry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thermal stress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hydration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fuel replacement </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Thermal stress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heat stress can be caused by: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Activity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Humidity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Air temperature </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced effectiveness of cooling mechanisms (i.e., PPE) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sun, shade, and wind </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Figure 10-3 The ISO should be observant of the signs and symptoms of heat stress.
  16. 16. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Thermal stress (con’t.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heat stress reduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Passive cooling: use of shade, air movement, and rest to bring down core temperatures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Active cooling: uses external methods or devices to reduce body core temperatures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Temperatures above 101 degrees Fahrenheit should trigger active cooling </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Thermal stress (con’t.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cold stress can be caused by: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moisture (perspiration) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Immediate temperature change </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wind chill </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Level of activity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Duration and degree of exposure </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Figure 10-4 Hypothermia is the cooling of the body’s core temperature, a condition that should be avoided at all cost.
  19. 19. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Fighting thermal stress </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Warm clothing cold extremes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forearm cold water submersion for heat extremes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rotation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Planned action to rotate crews </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hydration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Important in both heat and cold stress environments </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Hydration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Firefighters should drink a quart of water an hour during work periods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best delivered in 8-ounce increments spread over the hour </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For activities longer than an hour, add essential electrolytes and nutrients to water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dilute sports drinks with 50 percent water to speed absorption </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Fuel replacement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Metabolic rates are influenced by: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lifestyles </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fitness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Illnesses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Over-the-counter and prescription drugs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Circadian rhythms: physiological response to the 24-hour clock, which includes sleep, energy peaks, and necessary body functions </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Fuel replacement (con’t.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cell theory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Optimal cell performance uses oxygen, water, glucose (food), and insulin </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Too much insulin in the system tells the body to store carbs, not use them </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fuel firefighters with a low-glycemic index food so that blood sugar levels and insulin are stable, gradual, and consistent </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Table 10-2 Glycemic index comparisons for common carbohydrates.
  24. 24. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Fuel replacement (con’t.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cell-fueling strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>40/30/30 balance of low glycemic carbohydrates, protein, and fat provides quick energy that optimizes cell performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Choosing the best protein, carbohydrate, and fat also promotes steady, sustained performance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Department should preplan nourishment for rehab </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Firefighter Physiology (con’t.) <ul><li>Fuel replacement (con’t.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eating cycle at incidents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feed now if more than two hours since the last food intake </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Feed every two to three hours when physical and mental demands remain </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Rehabilitation Efforts <ul><li>ISO functions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure IC has established a rehabilitation tactical management component during emergency operations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate rehab efforts to determine effectiveness </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Rehabilitation Efforts (con’t.) <ul><li>The Four Rs of Rehab </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rehydration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rx </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refueling </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Summary <ul><li>Most firefighter mistakes/injuries are due to overexertion </li></ul><ul><li>Ergonomic stressors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relationship of worker to environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Task being performed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Abatement strategies for ergonomic stressors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Awareness, accommodation, and acclimation </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Summary (con’t.) <ul><li>Physiological stressors are influenced by: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thermal stressors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hot or cold </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Abatement: crew rotation, accommodation, and hydration </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hydration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fuel replacement </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Summary (con’t.) <ul><li>Optimal human performance relies on optimal cell performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Balance food intake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eat in regular cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluate rehab efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure the four R’s are implemented and achieving results </li></ul></ul>

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