Study on Fire Fighter Boots

by mobrian on January 13, 2009

Biomechanical and Physiological Study of Firefighter Boots

Do firefighter boots limit how long you can work in an IDLH atmosphere?  Can they hamper your ability to save a life?  Are leather or rubber boots creating injuries by fatiguing firefighters?

National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) are conducting a study on firefighter boots.  The primary objective of this study is to determine the effect of boot weight and design on firefighters’ biomechanical and physiological responses.  This study is in response to possible issues of limited mobility by firefighters in certain boots.

The scope of the project includes:

  • To evaluate the effect of boot weight and design on men and women firefighters’ oxygen consumption, peak flows, joint loading, dynamic balance, and gait characteristics.
  • To provide much needed scientific data to the NFPA 1971 standards committee (Protective Ensemble for Structural Fire Fighting) to revise and update standards

According to NIOSH the study is hopeful to encourage standards organizations to make improvements in firefighter boot standards.  The project will funnel results through the various NFPA committees.  The study will also look at male and femal firefighters and how heavier boots may affect the way we naturally walk.

Not a bad scientific start to reducing firefighter injuries.

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