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Frequency, intensity and duration of physical tasks performed by Australian rural firefighters during bushfire suppression

conference contribution
posted on 01.01.2011, 00:00 authored by Matthew Phillips, Kevin Netto, W Payne, David Nichols, Cara Walker, N Brooksbank, Katrina Onus, Sarah Jefferies, Brad AisbettBrad Aisbett
The current study combined, for the first time, video footage of individual firefighters wearing heart rate monitors and personal GPS units to quantify the frequency, duration and intensity of tasks performed by Australian rural fire crews when. suppressing bushfires. Across the four fireground 'shifts', the firefighters performed 34 distinct fireground tasks. Per shift, the task frequency ranged from once (raking fireline in teams, carrying a quick fill pump) to 103 times {lateral repositioning of a 38-mm charged firehose) .. The tasks lasted between 4 ± 2 s (bowling out 3-8-mm firehose) and 461 ± 387 s (raking fireline in teams). The task intensity~ as measured by average heart rate ranged between 97 ± 16 beats·min-1 (55.7 ± 8.7. %HRmax) and 157 ± 15 beats·min-1 (86.2 ± 10.8 %HRmax)· The tasks were performed a speeds that ranged from 0.12 ± 0.08 m·s-1 (manual hose retraction of 38-mm charged firehose) to 0.79 ± 0.40 m·s-1 (carrying a 38-mm coiled hose). Tasks found to be simultaneously frequent, long and intense (or two of these three) are likely to form the basis for job-specific testing of Australian rural firefighters suppressing bushfires.



The Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre & The Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council Conference Science Day (2011 : Sydney, NS.W.)


205 - 213


Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre


Sydney, N.S.W.

Place of publication

East Melbourne, Vic.

Start date







The science day was the final day of The AFAC & Bushfire CRC annual conference held from 29th August to 1st September 2011

Publication classification

E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2011, Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre


R Thornton

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of Bushfire CRC & AFAC 2011 Conference Science Day

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