LEXINGTON, KY (January 19, 2023) – Firemen All over the world, people risk their lives every day to protect citizens’ lives, property and the environment from disasters. Rescue missions and other duties — such as saving a family from a burning building or pulling an injured person out of a vehicle after a collision — can prove extremely challenging, especially with the strenuous combined schedule.
Often referred to as “tactical athletes,” firefighters Injuries encountered by first responders and other first responders are similar to the types of injuries experienced by athletes in traditional sports. But while the average professional athletic career in sports lasts five to seven years, professional firefighters end up exercising physically and mentally for 25 years or more, with no “offseason” to recover from injuries and exhaustion.
At the University of Kentucky, two graduate students are dedicating their time Help the firefighters in Lexington. Both have backgrounds in traditional sports training with athletic athletes, and they are taking their expertise and extending it to this much-needed group.
“There are only a handful of fire stations in the country that have actual medical models,” says Jack Germini, a third-year doctoral student in rehabilitation and health sciences at the University of Kentucky School of Health Sciences. “And those that don’t really have a very well-established approach, including physical therapy, athletic training, strength training, or any combination of those. Realizing that motivates me to do this work.”
every daythe students are helping firefighters at the Lexington Fire Brigade prevent, diagnose and treat injuries in a laboratory at the UK’s Institute of Sports Medicine – while collecting data to conduct groundbreaking research in the uncharted field of athletic training.
“We handle everything from random pain to the more complex management of some musculoskeletal disorders,” says Benevolence tinsley, also a third-year doctoral student in the Rehabilitation and Health Sciences program. “Members of the Lexington Fire Department now come to us for free, Monday through Friday, five days a week. In exchange, we are able to gather data that will help further our understanding of this emerging field of research to support the needs of first responders .”
Both are funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and are the oldest athletic training regiments American Institute for Occupational Safety and Health An educational research center was funded.
“It’s incredible the attention this research has received at the federal level,” tinsley Say. “We hope our data will continue to raise awareness at this level and really start to help this community across the country.”
Alex simpleLexington firefighters originally from Germany visit tinsley and Germini Weekly rehab sessions. He has seen them for over a year.
“I have issues with knee pain, knee stability and shoulder mobility,” simple Say. “So when I found out about this program and met with Jen, I really loved what she had planned for me and I’ve been here for 13 months. My pain has decreased, my mobility has increased, and I’ve become Got stronger.”
simple Said that because of the physical quality of the firefighter profession, he believes that every firefighter needs this kind of medical support.
“We had a lot of back pain and shoulder pain,” simple Say. “It’s an extremely physical job. Physical health and mental health are two of the fire department’s biggest concerns. Every firefighter deserves this kind of care.”
Ultimately, the goal is to not only help Lexington firefighters feel better, but have longer careers, but Research is also carried out to inform policy changes across the country. Policy changes are key because, until recently, first responders were largely excluded from the conversation when it came to comprehensive health systems that included athletic training support, despite knowing the physical harm their profession inflicts.
Some fire departments, including those that serve Metropolitan areas like New York or Dallas do employ these integrated sanitation systems. However, this accounts for fewer than 10 markets nationwide.
“It surprised us that this area of interest was so new,” says Germini“Because firefighting has a much longer history than athletic training. There’s a real need here — firefighters and others first Responders such as police and Military members need and deserve access to athletic training and physical therapy services. ”
Jamie’s The research field takes traditional sports training models and applies them to so-called “occupational exposures”.
“Right now, I’m looking at how the number and types of calls firefighters take during their shifts affect what we call ‘occupational exposure’,’” Germini Say. “And these factors affect things like the heart frequency and sleep mode, This all affects their ability to recover after get off work. ”
Germini said his next step is to look at how to actually monitor those factors Time spent with a multi-sport team Helping firefighters recover better and, ultimately, perform better.
Tinsley’s The research focus is based on a bio-psycho-social framework, exploring topics such as resilience, perseverance, and burnout, and examining how these factors relate to the development of musculoskeletal disorders.
“When we investigate issues a person may be experiencing, it’s important to look at both their physical and mental aspects,” tinsley Say. “Hopefully more whole-person-based research will Approaches like this will help fill some of the gaps we’re seeing in the management of musculoskeletal disorders. “
When considering why firehouses should adopt an integrated health model, it’s not just the health and well-being of firefighters themselves that is at stake. There are also economic reasons.
“Musculoskeletal disorders in firefighters alone cost millions of dollars each year,” Germini Say. “One paper shows that over an eight-year period, a fire department incurs nearly $8 million in costs from these illnesses alone.”
“It’s an expensive problem because it’s a widespread problem reported one” tinsley Say. “So, ultimately, we want to save those departments money, prevent injuries and keep their employees healthy so they can perform their duties over the long term.”
Working with the fire department has been a dream for both parties tinsley and Germini.
“This department is great for collaboration,” tinsley Say. “They provide us with critical feedback that informs our treatment. They are as involved as we are, and they interact so closely with us, which really makes the program a success. We are very grateful.”
for simplethis clinic changed lives.
“My goal is to be 1,500-pound club, three lifts,” simple Say. “They’ve been helping me get there. They’ve helped a lot of us, those of us who are stubborn don’t always seek help, whether it’s a physical problem or a mental one. I’m so grateful for what they’ve done for us in the fire department Work.”