An Occupational-Specific O2max Protocol for Structural Firefighters

Nathan D. Dicks, Katie J. Lyman, Kyle J. Hackney, Tanis J. Walch, Allison M. Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective:The aim of this study was to validate a O2max protocol designed specifically for the occupational demands of firefighters by incorporating the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).Methods:Career firefighters completed a stage-graded exercise test (GXT) with submaximal square-wave verification bout while wearing PPE (pants and boots) to determine O2max. Using the self-reported Physical Activity-Rating (PA-R) scale and an estimated nonexercise regression equation of O2max for comparison to measured.Results:Twenty-eight male, career firefighters performed the GXT and square-wave bout. O2 values (mean±SD) from the GXT and the square-wave verification bout were 41.04±6.98 and 39.74±6.42mL/kg/min, respectively (ICC=0.98, typical error=0.96mL/kg/min, CV=2.4%).Conclusion:Our data suggest an incremental treadmill protocol that incorporates PPE and square-wave verification as an occupational-specific tool to measure cardiovascular fitness in firefighters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Firefighters
  • Fitness testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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