Aged Firefighter Needs Analysis – Enhancing Readiness throughout the Career Span

by Daniel Higuera, MS, CSCS, and Mark Abel, PhD, CSCS
TSAC Report April 2024
Vol 71, Issue 3

Share:

The purpose of this article is to propose a training model for the aging firefighter to improve the athletic qualities of aerobic fitness and muscular strength so that they may remain healthier longer into their careers.

Paywall block issue

This article is not configured properly for members or paid content.
isMemberOnly: {{isMemberOnly}} | isPaidContent: {{isPaidContent}}
spc: One or more parts of the product SPC is missing.

Read the full article

View the video

Login to view more


{{discountDesc}} Valid thru {{discountEnds}}

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} is available with a NSCA membership

This {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}} can be purchased for {{prices}}
Price includes membership pricing and promotions

Purchase this {{ogType == 'video.other' ? 'video':'article'}}. Price range: {{prices}}
Price range includes membership pricing and promotions

Become a Member Add to Cart Login

This article originally appeared in TSAC Report, the NSCA’s quarterly, online-only publication geared toward the training of tactical athletes, operators, and facilitators. It provides research-based articles, performance drills, and conditioning techniques for operational, tactical athletes. The TSAC Report is only available for NSCA Members. Read more articles from TSAC Report 

Related Reading

Share:

References

  1. Abel, M, Palmer, T, and Trubee, N. Exercise program design for structural firefighters. Strength and Conditioning Journal 37(4): 8-19, 2015.
  2. Abel, MG, Mortara, AJ, and Pettitt, RW. Evaluation of circuit-training intensity for firefighters. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 25(10): 2895-2901, 2011.
  3. Alcaraz, PE, Sánchez-Lorente, J, and Blazevich, AJ. Physical performance and cardiovascular responses to an acute bout of heavy resistance circuit training versus traditional strength training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(3): 667-671, 2008.
  4. Almeida, SA, Williams, KM, Shaffer, RA, Luz, JT, and Badong, E. A physical training program to reduce musculoskeletal injuries in U.S. Marine Corps Recruits, Version 1.0, 1997. Retrieved 2023 from https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/ADA326216.
  5. Le, B, Mcnulty, A, Dyal, LA, Dejoy, MA, Smith, TD. Firefighter overexertion: A continuing problem found in an analysis of nonfatal injury among career firefighters. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17(21): 7906, 2020.
  6. Barger, LK, Rajaratnam, SMW, Wang, W, O’Brien, CS, Sullivan, JP, Qadri, S, et al. Common sleep disorders increase risk of motor vehicle crashes and adverse health outcomes in firefighters. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine 11(3): 233-240, 2015.
  7. Brown, L, and Greenwood, M. Periodization essentials and innovations in resistance training protocols. Strength and Conditioning Journal 27, 2005.
  8. Cameron, NA, Shen, J, Rusk, K, Parker, R, Godino, JG, and Nichols, JF. Longitudinal decline in cardiorespiratory fitness with age among male firefighters in San Diego, California, 2005–2015. American Journal of Public Health 108(10): 1388-1393, 2018.
  9. Campbell, R, and Evarts, B. United States Firefighter Injuries in 2020. NFPA Research. NFP Association, 2021.
  10. Cornell, DJ, Gnacinski, SL, and Ebersole, KT. Functional movement quality of firefighter recruits: Longitudinal changes from the academy to active-duty status. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(7): 3656, 2021.
  11. Cornell, DJ, Gnacinski, SL, Meyer, BB, and Ebersole, KT. Changes in health and fitness in firefighter recruits: An observational cohort study. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 49(11): 2017.
  12. Fahy, R, Evarts, B, and Stein, GP. US Fire Department Profile 2020. 2022.
  13. Fifth needs assessment of the US fire service conducted in 2020 and including comparisons to the 2001, 2005, 2010, and 2015 needs assessment surveys. 2021.
  14. Fire Administration, US. Fire department overall run profile as reported to the national fire incident reporting system. Topical Fire Report Series 20(1): 2017.
  15. Fire Department Calls. National Fire Protection Association. 2021. Retrieved May 28, 2023 from https://www.nfpa.org/Newsand- Research/Data-research-and-tools/Emergency-Responders/ Fire-department-calls.
  16. Föhr, T, Tolvanen, A, Myllymäki, T, Järvelä-Reijonen, E, Peuhkuri, K, Rantala, S, et al. Physical activity, heart rate variability-based stress and recovery, and subjective stress during a 9-month study period. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 27(6): 612-621, 2017.
  17. Frost, DM, Beach, TA, Crosby, I, and McGill, SM. Firefighter injuries are not just a fireground problem. Work 52(4): 835-842, 2015.
  18. Godfrey, R, Whyte, G, and Whyte, G. Training specificity. The Physiology of Training. London, UK: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 23-43, 2006.
  19. Grgic, J, Schoenfeld, BJ, Skrepnik, M, Davies, TB, and Mikulic, P. Effects of rest interval duration in resistance training on measures of muscular strength: A systematic review. Sports Medicine 48: 137-151, 2018.
  20. Hrysomallis, C. Hip adductors’ strength, flexibility, and injury risk. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 23(5): 1514-1517, 2009.
  21. Ingraham, SJ. The role of flexibility in injury prevention and athletic performance: have we stretched the truth? Minnesota Medicine, 86(5): 58-61, 2003.
  22. Jahnke, SA, Poston, WS, Haddock, CK, and Jitnarin, N. Injury among a population based sample of career firefighters in the central USA. Injury Prevention 19(6): 393-398, 2013.
  23. Jammes, Y, Stavris, C, Charpin, C, Rebaudet, S, Lagrange, G, and Retornaz, F. Maximal handgrip strength can predict maximal physical performance in patients with chronic fatigue. Clinical Biomechanics 73: 162-165, 2020.
  24. Kaipust, CM, Jahnke, SA, Poston, WSC, Jitnarin, N, Haddock, CK, Delclos, GL, and Day, RS. Sleep, obesity, and injury among US male career firefighters. Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine 61(4): e150-e154, 2019.
  25. Knutson, KL, and Van Cauter, E. Associations between sleep loss and increased risk of obesity and diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1129: 287-304, 2008.
  26. Kuehl, KS, Elliot, DL, Goldberg, L, Moe, EL, Perrier, E, and Smith, J. Economic benefit of the PHLAME wellness programme on firefighter injury. Occupational Medicine 63(3): 203-209, 2013.
  27. Lehance, C, Binet, J, Bury, T, and Croisier, JL. Muscular strength, functional performances and injury risk in professional and junior elite soccer players. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 19(2): 243-251, 2009.
  28. Muangsrinoon, S, and Boonbrahm, P. Burn in zone: Real time heart rate monitoring for physical activity. 2017. Retrieved 2023 from https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8025953.
  29. NFPA 1582 Standard on Comprehensive Occupational Medical Program for Fire Departments. NFP Association. 2022.
  30. NFPA 1583 Standard on Health-Related Fitness Programs for Fire Department Members. NFP Association. 2022.
  31. Norris, R, Carroll, D, and Cochrane, R. The effects of aerobic and anaerobic training on fitness, blood pressure, and psychological stress and well-being. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 34(4): 367-375, 1990.
  32. Paterno, MV, Myer, GD, Ford, KR, and Hewett, TE. Neuromuscular training improves single-limb stability in young female athletes. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 34(6): 305-316, 2004.
  33. Pawlak, R, Clasey, JL, Palmer, T, Symons, TB, and Abel, MG. The effect of a novel tactical training program on physical fitness and occupational performance in firefighters. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 29(3): 578-588, 2015.
  34. Peterson, MD, Dodd, DJ, Alvar, BA, Rhea, MR, and Favre, M. Undulation training for development of hierarchical fitness and improved firefighter job performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(5): 2008.
  35. Peterson, MD, Dodd, DJ, Alvar, BA, Rhea, MR, and Favre, M. Undulation training for development of hierarchical fitness and improved firefighter job performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 22(5): 1683-1695, 2008.
  36. Poplin, GS, Harris, RB, Pollack, KM, Peate, WF, and Burgess, JL. Beyond the fireground: Injuries in the fire service. Injury Prevention 18(4): 228-233, 2012.
  37. Poplin, GS, Roe, DJ, Burgess, JL, Peate, WF, and Harris, RB. Fire fit: Assessing comprehensive fitness and injury risk in the fire service. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 89(2): 251-259, 2016.
  38. Poplin, GS, Roe, DJ, Peate, W, Harris, RB, and Burgess, JL. The association of aerobic fitness with injuries in the fire service. American Journal of Epidemiology 179(2): 149-155, 2014.
  39. Public Employees Pension Reform Act. (2013). California Public Employee’s Retirement System. Retrieved October 17, 2022 from https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/employers/policies-andprocedures/ pension-reform-impacts.
  40. Schoenfeld, BJ, Grgic, J, Van Every, DW, and Plotkin, DL. Loading recommendations for muscle strength, hypertrophy, and local endurance: A re-examination of the repetition continuum. Sports 9(2): 32, 2021.
  41. Soteriades, ES, Hauser, R, Kawachi, I, Liarokapis, D, Christiani, DC, and Kales, SN. Obesity and cardiovascular disease risk factors in firefighters: A prospective cohort study. Obesity Research 13(10): 1756-1763, 2005.
  42. Soteriades, ES, Vogazianos, P, Tozzi, F, Antoniades, A, Economidou, EC, Psalta, L, and Spanoudis, G. Exercise and occupational stress among firefighters. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19(9): 2022.
  43. Suchomel, TJ, Nimphius, S, Bellon, CR, and Stone, MH. The importance of muscular strength: Training considerations. Sports Medicine 48(4): 765-785, 2018.
  44. Suchomel, TJ, Nimphius, S, and Stone, MH. The importance of muscular strength in athletic performance. Sports Medicine 46(10): 1419-1449, 2016.
About the author

Daniel Higuera, MS, CSCS

Contact Daniel Higuera

Contact Daniel Higuera

Your first name is required.
Your last name is required.
Your email is required.
Your message is required.
Your reCaptcha is required.

Your email was successfully sent to Daniel Higuera

Daniel Higuera is an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at Santa Ana College Department of Fire Technology. Currently, he provides health and wellness ...

View full biography
About the author

Mark Abel, PhD, CSCS,*D, TSAC-F,*D

Contact Mark Abel

Contact Mark Abel

Your first name is required.
Your last name is required.
Your email is required.
Your message is required.
Your reCaptcha is required.

Your email was successfully sent to Mark Abel

Mark Abel is an Associate Professor and Director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the Un ...

View full biography
#NSCAStrong #NSCAStrong

has been added to your shopping cart!

Continue Shopping Checkout Now