Do Italian fire fighting recruits have an adequate physical fitness profile for fire fighting?
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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.
Key wordsAerobic power Strength Vertical jump Self-contained breathing apparatus
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