News & Media

You can help with sleep study

By: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC

Category: Health & Safety, Planning & Research

  10.20 AM 29 January, 2014

Location: General

Views: 2731

Bushfire CRC PhD student Grace Vincent from Deakin University is recruiting firefighters from across Australia to help gather important data on firefighters and sleep during multi-day deployments.

In October 2013 Grace put the call out for firefighters to volunteer to participate in the study, with many firefighters, including those from CFA, offering to assist. To ensure this important research to help manage firefighter health and safety is statistically viable, more firefighters are needed. 


Firefighters often work long hours with little rest between shifts. Inadequate sleep increases the likelihood of impaired performance – this can result in errors and incidents, and impacts on the safety and efficiency of firefighters.  But there is currently no data about the sleep length and quality that firefighters experience during multi-day deployments.


Participating in the research is easy. It will not impair suppression tasks. Firefighters who take part in the study only need to:

  1. Wear a wrist activity monitor for three days before a deployment, during the deployment and three days after deployment. This allows sleep quality and quantity when actively deployed to be compared to an individual’s usual sleep patterns.
  2. Wear a shirt pocket monitor during fire suppression, to measure the amount of physical activity performed on the fireground.
  3. Complete a sleep and work diary. This diary will give an indication of total sleep hours and perceived fatigue levels.

Want more information?

This poster gives the results of the research so far, but more participants are needed to ensure the study is statistically viable. To express interest in participating in this vital research, or for more information, contact Grace Vincent, PhD candidateThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 0478 019 526.

Last Updated: 29 January 2014