Keeping cool in extremes
Thu, 03/05/2012 - 12:12
The Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Service hosted a seminar and workshop on firefighter cooling on Tuesday 10 April 2012 with sponsorship and support of the Bushfire CRC and assistance by the James Cook University.
The event brought together representatives of Bushfires NT, St John Ambulance, AirServices Australia and a number of NTFRS members with a role as health and safety representative and/or OH&S committee member - 25 people participated.
Interesting and informative presentations were given on:
- the research and development of the CoolMe vests by Dr Glen Deakin of James Cook University
- the physiology of firefighters in extreme conditions by Dr Brad Aisbett of Deakin University and the Bushfire CRC
- the research into the impacts of tropical conditions on firefighter recovery by Drs Ian Norton and Matt Brearley from the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre at Royal Darwin Hospital.
The presentations highlighted the extraordinary range of effects on firefighters working in extreme conditions in tropical environments and under heavy workloads. In particular, it highlighted the impact of good hydration, medical monitoring and adequate recovery programs on the ability of firefighters to be quickly returned to active duty with a reduced likelihood of physical or mental impairment.
The workshop session discussed how best to ensure that a suitable process is developed to implement an appropriate level of proactive monitoring and suitable recovery activity to suit a range of conditions that likely to be encountered by firefighters.
Thanks also to the Bushfire CRC for managing the registration process and supporting the event as an opportunity to promote the application of research to occupational process.