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Preventing Injuries In Firefighters Nationwide is New Research Focus for Top Sports Doc James Andrews, M.D. and Athletes' Performance
Date:10/2/2009

rs, soldiers, and police officers are not only a danger to themselves, but the safety of their co-workers and the people they serve can be compromised.

A healthy firefighter is an effective and safe firefighter. If injury prevention is attainable, more lives will be saved. It will also save on the bottom line for many municipalities, not to mention the financial burden an injury could place on the family of a firefighter. Billions of dollars are spent each year on disability payments, medical treatments, duty restrictions, and lost work/training time, not to mention the countless human-related sacrifices being made. While it is unlikely that all firefighter injuries can be eliminated, risk management and training applications might offer ways to reduce present injury levels.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) along with the U.S. Department of Commerce released a report in 2005, "Economic Consequences of Firefighter Injuries and Their Prevention." They found that the estimated cost of addressing firefighter injuries and of efforts to prevent them is $2.8 to $7.8 billion per year. The study was able to obtain workers compensation information that was specific to occupational codes for firefighters, injured and non-injured alike. Estimated health care costs alone accounted for $830 to $980 million of direct and indirect costs.

The research study screened firefighters to determine if specific training can improve their movement patterns during occupational tasks and prevent injury in the field. To accomplish their goal, the research team performed biomechanical analyses of the firefighters while they performed various work-related and non work-related physical duties. The data collected will provide insight into why some firefighters may be susceptible to injury when fulfilling their occupational duties, and provide information that can be used to develop evidence-based physical training programs.

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Preventing Injuries In Firefighters Nationwide is New Research Focus for Top Sports Doc James Andrews, M.D. and Athletes' Performance
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