Modifiable risk factors predict injuries in firefighters during training academies

Work. 2013 Jan 1;46(1):11-7. doi: 10.3233/WOR-121545.


Objective: To examine whether measures of physiologic function and fundamental movement are predictive of injury in firefighters during a training academy.

Participants: 108 firefighter trainees enrolled in the training academy.

Methods: Baseline measures of physical performance and fundamental movement patterns were obtained in firefighters entering a training academy to determine predictors of injury. The physical performance measures were standardized tests of individual maximum performance on a set of four different total body tests and one firefighter specific performance test, the tower test. Measurements of fundamental movement patterns consisted of the seven tests of the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) along with the composite score.Performance on each of the individual tests was examined to determine if any of the variables were predictive of injury.

Results: ROC curve analysis established that a FMS cut score of ≤ 14 was able to discriminate between those at a greater risk for injury. In addition, the deep squat and push up component of the FMS were statistically significant predictors of injury status along with the sit and reach test.

Conclusions: Injury in firefighters during academy can be predicted by baseline measures of musculoskeletal movement and physiology.

Keywords: Occupational injury; injury screening; physical fitness.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Professional
  • Exercise Test
  • Firefighters / education*
  • Humans
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Musculoskeletal System / injuries*
  • Occupational Injuries / etiology
  • Occupational Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors