Fighting fatigue whilst fighting bushfire : an overview of factors contributing to firefighter fatigue during bushfire suppression
journal contributionposted on 01.08.2007, 00:00 authored by Brad AisbettBrad Aisbett, D Nichols
Aching muscles and joints, lethargy, and sleepiness are all signs of firefighter fatigue during bushfire suppression. If not managed, fatigue may lead to injury or illness for the individual, which may also compromise the safety and productivity of their crew. Understanding the many sources of firefighter fatigue is, therefore, fundamental for all Australian fire agencies. This article will briefly address several factors thought to contribute to firefighter fatigue including; sleep loss, firefighter’s work activity, their hydration, and nutrition, the hot and smoky working environment, firefighter’s physical fitness and their experience. This brief overview draws on findings from firefighting research and the broader scientific literature.