Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Health and Human Performance (Generalist Option)

Department or School/College

Health and Human Performance

Committee Chair

Dr. Valerie Moody

Commitee Members

Dr. Joe Domitrovich Dr. Charlie Palmer


wildland firefighter, FMS, smokejumper, injury, athletic training


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Sports Sciences


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.



© Copyright 2019 Isabella Grace Callis