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Performance on a work-simulating firefighter test versus approved laboratory tests for firefighters and applicants

Aim: Firefighters must meet minimum physical demands. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (NLIA) has approved a standardised treadmill walking test and 3 simple strength tests for smoke divers. The results of the Trondheim test were compared with those of the NLIA tests taking into account possible effects of age, experience level and gender. Methods. Four groups of participants took part in the tests: 19 young experienced firefighters, 24 senior male firefighters and inexperienced applicants, 12 male and 8 female. Results. Oxygen uptake (VO2) at exhaustion rose linearly by the duration of the treadmill test. Time spent on the Trondheim test was closely related to performance time and peak VO2 on the treadmill test. Senior experienced firefighters did not perform better than equally fit young applicants. However, female applicants performed poorer on the Trondheim test than on the treadmill test. Performance on the Trondheim test was not closely related to muscle strength beyond a minimum. Conclusion. Firefighters completing the Trondheim test in under 19 min fit the requirements of the NLIA treadmill test. The Trondheim test can be used as an alternative to the NLIA tests for testing aerobic fitness but not for muscular strength. Women’s result of the Trondheim test...

Von Heimburg, Erna Dianne; Medbø, Jon Ingulf; Sandsund, Mariann; Reinertsen, Randi Eidsmo
International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (JOSE) 19(2): 227–243
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