LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2023) – Firefighters All over the world they risk their lives every day to protect citizens’ lives, property and the environment from disasters. Rescue operations and other tasks – such as rescuing a family from a burning house or pulling an injured person from a car crash – can be very difficult, especially when combined with the heavy schedules they have to handle.
They are often called “tactical runners,” firefighters and other first responders experience injuries similar to those experienced by professional athletes. But, although the professional athletic career in sports lasts five to seven years, professional firefighters can train physically and mentally for 25 years or more, without a “season of rest” to recover from injuries and efforts.
At the University of Kentucky, two graduate students are taking their time helping the firefighters right here in Lexington. All of them are highly educated and professional athletes, taking their skills and expanding them to a community that needs them the most.
“There are very few fire stations in the country that have a real medical system,” Jake said Jelmin, a third-year doctoral student in the Rehabilitation and Health Sciences program at the University of Kentucky College of Health Sciences. “And those who don’t have a good balance that includes exercise, aerobics, aerobics or any combination. Realizing this is what inspired me to start this work.”
Every daythese students help prevent, diagnose and treat injuries with firefighters from the Lexington Fire Department in a lab at the UK’s Sports Medicine Research Institute – all while collecting data to create exciting research in the untouched area of athletic training.
“We do everything from simple aches and pains to managing the complications of other musculoskeletal conditions,” he said Jane Tinsley, and a third-year student in the Rehabilitation and Health Sciences program. “Right now, members of the Lexington Fire Department come to us five days a week, Monday through Friday, free of charge. And in exchange, we are able to gather information that helps inform the incoming field to support the needs of first responders. ”
These two are supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and are the first teams to train athletes. I’m sorry has donated money to educational research centers.
“It’s surprising that this investigation is so focused on the federal government,” Tinsley he said. “We hope that our information will continue to focus on this level and begin to support this group around the world.”
Alex Jana Lexington firefighter who is from Germany, visits Tinsley and Jelmin once a week for rehab. He has been seeing them for just over a year.
“I had problems with knee pain, knee stiffness and shoulder mobility,” Jan he said. “So, when I found out about this program and met Jen, I liked what she had planned for me and I’ve been coming here for 13 months. I feel less pain, I’m doing better and I’m growing.”
Jan he says that because of the physical nature of firefighting, he believes that every firefighter needs this type of medical care.
“We have a lot of back and shoulder pain,” Jan he said. “It’s a very powerful job. Fitness and health are two major issues within the fire department. Every firefighter deserves this kind of attention. ”
Ultimately, the goal is not just to help Lexington firefighters stay healthy and have long careers., but and conducting research that will inform policy changes throughout the country. The change in the process is very important, because the first responders until recently have been left out of discussions about integrated health systems that include the support of sports training, although they know the physical damage of their work.
Other fire departments, including those that provide assistance Big cities like New York or Dallas, accept these integrated health systems. However, this applies to less than 10 markets across the country.
“This is a surprise for us, that this exciting part is new,” he said Jelmin. “Because firefighting has been around longer than athletic training. And there is a real need here – firefighters and other first respondents such as the police and All soldiers need athletic training and physical therapy. ”
Jelmini pa the field of research takes the method of sports training and applies it to what is called “performance exposure.”
“Right now, I’m looking at how the number of calls and the types of calls firefighters respond to during a shift can affect what we call ‘duty exposure.’,’” Jelmin he said. “And these things can affect things like the heart rate and sleeping methods, which can affect how they recover after leaving work.”
Jelmin he said his next step is waiting to see how he can look at these things in reality time to have a fast team to help firefighters recover, so they can do better.
Tinsley is The purpose of the research is based on the bio-psycho-social framework, to examine topics such as courage, grit and fatigue, and to look at how these factors may be related to the onset of musculoskeletal disorders.
“It is important to look at all aspects of a person’s body and mind when looking at an issue they may be dealing with,” Tinsley he said. “Hopefully, doing more research is a whole person an approach like this will help fill the gaps we see in the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders. “
When considering why a fire station should embrace an integrated health model, there is more to it than just the health and well-being of firefighters. There are also financial reasons.
“Musculoskeletal disorders in firefighters alone cost millions and millions of dollars a year,” Jelmin he said. “One paper showed that in eight years, one fire department alone incurred $8 million in disease costs alone.”
“This issue is very expensive as it often is he also said,” Tinsley he said. “So, ultimately, we want to save these departments money, prevent injuries to our staff and keep them healthy so they can do their jobs for a long time.”
Working with the fire department has been a dream for both of them Tinsley and Jelmin.
“This department is great to work with,” Tinsley he said. “They give us the feedback we need to inform our support. They have the same amount of money as we do, and they are so engaged with us that they are making this program a success. We are very grateful.”
About JanThis hospital has changed lives.
“I have a goal of being in the 1st,500-pound club with three lifts,” Jan he said. “And they have been helping me get there. They have helped many of us, who are stubborn and don’t always need help, be it physical or emotional issues. I really appreciate the work they do for us here at the fire department.”