Effects of High-Heat on Firefighter Personnel
Firefighting is a stressful occupation that causes personnel to work in high-heat conditions. This carries a high-heat burden on the body overtime. It's clear that firefighters regularly exert themselves in dangerous and unpredictable environments. Merely getting ready to respond to a fire starts a flow of endorphins and begins putting stress on the cardiovascular system. Combine that with the additional weight of traditional personal protective equipment (PPE) such as turnout gear, it doesn't come as a surprise that the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths and injuries is sudden cardiac failure.
Research from the American Heart Association shows that exposure to extreme heat and physical exertion during firefighting may trigger the formation of blood clots and impair blood vessel function, two predecessors for heart attacks.
Mitigating Firefighter Heat Stress
Follow these tips to reduce your chances of developing heat stress:
1. Drink water to stay hydrated
2. Perform adequate fitness training
3. Allow your body proper time to cool down post-incident
Each of these tips can help mitigate firefighter heat stress and so can wearing the right firefighting gear!
We develop turnout gear with elements that minimize firefighter stress and fatigue. FXR Turnout Gear has an ergonomic design to enhance the wearer’s ability to move freely and is available with our exclusive outer shell, TECGEN71, which offers the lightest weight composite systems available.
Designed to lessen heat stress by reducing weight and flexibility, TECGEN71 doesn't sacrifice thermal protection or durability. It’s 20% lighter, 45% thinner and 70% more flexible than typical composite combinations, while boasting 50% higher total heat loss.