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Collaborative Research Study Aims to Prevent Firefighter Injury Nationwide
Date:9/10/2009

t of athletes, largely due in part to its founder, renowned orthopaedic and sports medicine surgeon Dr. James Andrews. The Andrews Institute has its own research and education division, the Andrews-Paulos Research & Education Institute, devoted to preventing injuries on and off the athletic field. Participating in and conducting evidence-based research is part of their mission and they look for partners in the medical, athletic and pharmaceutical industries to conduct such studies and address community needs. Athletes' Performance had an already established relationship at the Institute, having opened their third location on its campus in 2007. The Institute offered their biomechanics research laboratory to Beach and Frost in order to conduct a series of studies in collaboration with them, Athletes' Performance and the Pensacola Fire Department.

"We were excited to learn of this potential research collaboration and felt it was a natural fit for us," says Chad Gilliland, chief operating officer for the Andrews Institute. "We were already working with the Pensacola Fire Department, providing annual physicals, so we asked them to join in this effort. They immediately agreed and have been whole-heartedly committed to this project."

THE STUDY

The research study began at the Andrews Institute in April 2009 and has over 75 firefighters participating. The study has over six components, each investigating various research questions. Each firefighter in the study has volunteered to participate in the different phases and conducts their research activities during their personal time.

The study screens firefighters to determine if specific training can improve their movement patterns during occupational tasks and prevent injury in the field. There is some indirect evidence to suggest that firefighters who have trouble controlling their normal body mechanics may be more susceptible to low-back and other muscul
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