Gait Changes and Heat Stress Among Firefighters

Firefighter participating in a simulation .

How does heat and fatigue affect firefighter gait and balance?

Project description

One of the most common causes of injury among firefighters is slips, trips, and falls (STF) while wearing protective garments. It is assumed that the risk of STF on the fireground increases linearly as the firefighter becomes more fatigued but this has not been tested. This project will test to see how gait changes as the individual becomes hotter and more fatigued while working in protective clothing. It will also test to see if inertial motion units work by the individual performing the work can identify when the individual is at greatest risk of a STF injury.

Project outcome

The student successfully completing this study will have the opportunity to co-author a manuscript and/or present a poster at a scientific meeting.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment About 3-5 months
Start time Summer (May/June of 2022)
In-person, remote, or hybrid? In person project
Level of collaboration Small group project (2-3 students)
Benefits Research experience
Who is eligible Junior and senior undergraduate students who have completed anatomy and physiology 

Project mentor

David Hostler

Professor and Chair

Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Phone: (716) 829-6795


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.

Students will have to complete the appropriate CITI training modules, complete readings provided by the PI, and work with lab technicians to learn the skills required for the research.