This study examined different fluid replacement quantities during intermittent work while wearing firefighting protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus in the heat (35°C, 50% relative humidity). Twelve firefighters walked at 4.5 km per h with 0% elevation on an intermittent work (50 min) and rest (30 min) schedule until they reached a rectal temperature of 39.5°C during work periods and 40.0°C during rest, heart rates of 95% of maximum and/or exhaustion. During the heat-stress trials subjects received one of four fluid replacement quantities, high (H), moderate (M), low (L), and no hydration (NH), where H, M and L represented 78%, 63% and 37% of fluid loss, respectively. The total tolerance time (work + rest) was significantly greater during H (111.8 ± 3.5), M (112.9 ± 5.2) and L (104.2 ± 5.8) compared to NH (95.3 ± 3.8). In addition, work time (min), which excluded rest periods, was significantly greater in H (82.6 ± 3.5), and M (82.9 ± 5.2) compared to NH (65.3 ± 3.8). It is concluded that incorporating even partial fluid replacement strategies while wearing firefighting protective clothing and self-contained breathing apparatus in the heat improves tolerance time.
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Uncompensable heat stress
Document Type: Research Article
Operational Medicine Section, Defence R&D Canada – Toronto, 1133 Sheppard Avenue West, P.O. Box 2000, Toronto, Ontario, M3M 3B9, Canada
Faculty of Physical Education and Health, Exercise Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 2W6, Canada
March 15, 2006
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