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Research needs you
Research teams in Victoria and South Australia are working with the CFA to better understand the impacts of working in hot and smoky conditions with little sleep.
The findings from the project will help agencies around the country to maintain the health and safety of their members during deployments.
CFA members can face a number of different stressors on the fireground, some of which are know to influence physical performance and decision-making. For example, physical work is harder to maintain in hot conditions resulting in lowered work output. Long shifts and short sleeps can reduce concentration levels and slow reaction times. Smoky conditions can impact both mental and physical functioning in different ways.
Currently agencies don’t have information about how their personnel might be impacted when these stressors are present in combination. The research team, which includes partner agencies, designed a project to measure changes in performance under various controlled conditions.
Firefighters live in the testing facility for four nights and perform a series of physical and cognitive fireground tasks over three days in hot or smoky conditions or with little sleep. The findings will be provided to agencies to improve health and safety for firefighters around the country.
The team is hoping to recruit up to 100 CFA volunteers to the project. Five volunteers can participate in each test run and several testing dates are available in 2013.