, Volume 4, Issue 1-2, pp 27-32
Date: 14 Feb 2009

Do Italian fire fighting recruits have an adequate physical fitness profile for fire fighting?

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the fitness level of Italian male recruits with (volunteers) and without (novices) previous fire-fighting experience. Strength (handgrip; 1RM bench-press), power (counter movement jump (CMJ)), velocity (20 m) and endurance (with and without self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)) performances of 29 volunteer (age: 22±3 years; BMI: 23±2) and 51 novice (age 30±5 years; BMI 25±2) fire-fighting recruits were compared (p<0.05). Volunteers showed better performances (p<0.01) for 1RM (80.5±16.5 kg), CMJ (31.4±4.8 cm) and 20 m (3.1±0.2 s) than novices (1RM=68.3±10.5 kg; CMJ=28.0±4.5 cm; 20 m=3.2±0.2 s). No difference emerged for handgrip (481.7±71.4 N) and VO2max with (42.9±5.2 ml/kg/min) and without (54.7±6.2 ml/kg/min) SCBA. Wearing the SCBA, 3% of volunteers and 16% of novices failed to complete the endurance test. Considering that fire fighters perform their job wearing SCBA, it could be advisable to test the fitness level of recruits in this condition.