Psychophysiological Responses of Firefighters to Emergencies: A Review

Psychophysiological Responses of Firefighters to Emergencies: A Review

The Open Sports Sciences Journal 24 Jan 2014 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1875399X01407010008


Firefighters perform strenuous muscular works in hazardous environments and chaotic conditions, under time pressure and psychological stress. Various studies have shown high values of oxygen uptake, heart rate, blood lactate concentrations and salivary cortisol and A-Amylase in laboratory test, in real-life and simulated interventions of firefighters. These high values have been attributed to the combined effect of the metabolically active muscle, thermoregulatory strain and fatigue resulting from the protective gear and a self-contained breathing apparatus in addition to further supplementary overweight (i.e., lifting weights, rescuing victims). In order to protect health and safety of firefighters and victims during emergencies, high levels of cardiovascular endurance and strength in firefighters are strongly recommended. In fact, high levels of physical fitness showed to increase firefighters’ work ability, safety and decreased risk of injury.

Keywords: Anxiety, cardiovascular diseases, heart rate, hormonal responses, self-contained breathing apparatus, thermal strain.