Examining Injury Trends in Wildland Firefighters to Develop an Injury Screening Assessment Pilot Project
Year of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Health and Human Performance (Generalist Option)
Department or School/College
Health and Human Performance
Dr. Valerie Moody
Dr. Joe Domitrovich Dr. Charlie Palmer
wildland firefighter, FMS, smokejumper, injury, athletic training
University of Montana
Fire suppression is an arduous profession that poses many work hazards and risks for wildland firefighters (WLFF) on a daily basis. One of the major threats to WLFF health on the line is musculoskeletal injury. Injury on the fire line and during personal training inhibits WLFF from performing their job to their full capacity. Currently there are no prevention strategies utilized to reduce the number of injuries this tactical population is experiencing. By accurately tracking injuries in WLFF, development of prevention strategies could assist in reducing the cost of injuries, maintain overall health in WLFF, and decrease work-related disability.
A review of three data sets on injuries sustained by WLFF during the 2017 and 2018 fire seasons confirmed injury trends that currently exist in the literature. Verifying these trends affirmed the need to incorporate preventative techniques in WLFF and address specific strategies to mitigate the rising numbers of injuries.
A pilot study has been developed with smokejumpers utilizing athletic trainers to complete movement and mobility screenings at the beginning, middle and end of fire season. By completing mobility screenings, any imbalances or weaknesses in smokejumpers that could place them at increased risk of injury will be identified. To combat the increased risk of injury, athletic trainers will develop corrective exercises for the smokejumpers to incorporate into personal training to ultimately decrease their risk of injury. In addition, introducing athletic trainers to WLFF in this capacity will open the door for these two professions to collaborate further in the future.
Callis, Isabella Grace, "Examining Injury Trends in Wildland Firefighters to Develop an Injury Screening Assessment Pilot Project" (2019). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11324.
© Copyright 2019 Isabella Grace Callis