CONTEXT: Cooling devices aim to protect firefighters by attenuating a rise in body temperature. Devices for head cooling (HC) while firefighting and forearm cooling (FC) during rehabilitation (RHB) intervals are commonly marketed, but research regarding their efficacy is limited.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the physiological and perceived effects of HC and FC during firefighting drills and RHB.
DESIGN: Randomized controlled clinical trial.
SETTING: Firefighter training center.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-seven male career firefighters (age = 39 ± 7 years; height = 169 ± 7 cm; weight = 95.4 ± 16.8 kg).
INTERVENTION(S): Firefighters were randomly assigned to 1 condition: HC (n = 9), in which participants completed drills wearing a cold gel pack inside their helmet; FC (n = 8), in which participants sat on a collapsible chair with water-immersion arm troughs during RHB; or control (n = 10), in which participants used no cooling devices. Firefighters completed four 15-minute drills (D1-D4) wearing full bunker gear and breathing apparatus. Participants had a 15-min RHB after D2 (RHB1) and D4 (RHB2).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Change (Δ) in gastrointestinal temperature (T
RESULTS: The T
CONCLUSIONS: The HC did not attenuate rises in physiological or perceptual variables during firefighting drills. The FC effectively reduced T
Published In/Presented At
Yeargin S, McKenzie AL, Eberman LE, Kingsley JD, Dziedzicki DJ, Yoder P. Physiological and Perceived Effects of Forearm or Head Cooling During Simulated Firefighting Activity and Rehabilitation. J Athl Train. 2016 Nov;51(11):927-935. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-51.10.09. PMID: 28068165; PMCID: PMC5224734.
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery