alexa A new hand-cooling device to enhance firefighter heat strain recovery.


Journal of Applied Mechanical Engineering

Author(s): Zhang Y, Bishop PA, Casaru C, Davis JK

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Abstract This study tested a new portable cooling device for fire fighting recovery. Participants (N = 8) walked and did arm curls (time-weighted VO(2): 1.6 L x min(-1) on a treadmill for 40 min in a heated chamber (wet bulb globe temperature: 33.7 degrees C; relative humidity: 40-45\%) while wearing firefighter turn-out gear and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). Immediately on finishing exercise, participants recovered for 40 min with either a hand-cooling device or seated passive recovery at an ambient temperature of 22 degrees C, 35\% RH in a repeated-measures counterbalanced design. The cooling device had little impact on recovery during the first 30 min; however, compared with passive cooling, the cooling device resulted in significantly lower rectal temperature (T(re)) during the last 10 min. Relative to starting T(re) of the recovery period, Delta T(re) at 35 min had fallen 0.51 +/- 0.19 degrees C (passive) and 0.76 +/- 0.30 degrees C (active) (p = 0.03); and at 40 min Delta T(re) had fallen 0.63 +/- 0.17 degrees C (passive) and 0.88 +/- 0.31 degrees C (active) (p = 0.03). Cooling capacity of the device calculated from Delta T(re) over the whole recovery period averaged about 144\% of passive. Reductions in heat storage enhance worker safety and performance in hot environments. This article was published in J Occup Environ Hyg and referenced in Journal of Applied Mechanical Engineering

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