Researchers Collaborate with Fire in Texas for Fire Academy Research
The health and wellness status of first responders continues to be an ongoing discussion within the tactical professional network. As such, the availability and utilization of medical and fitness resources need to be constantly assessed. As a team, Jabai Performance and the Health and Human Performance Department of Texas A&M University – Commerce continue to collaborate on various research projects that evaluate the health of first responders and tactical professionals. As the development of tactical research has progressed at Texas A&M University – Commerce, the team decided that there needed to be a working relationship with local academies. Researchers Hussien Jabai and Dr. Michael Oldham traveled to Sulphur Springs, TX to meet with Rodney Caudle of Fire in Texas. Fire In Texas is a Fire and EMS Academy, specializing in Fire Academy and EMS training. With a round table discussion, the group shared ideas on potential research opportunities that would provide baseline data for the cadets and the academy program structure. The group established a mutual benefit in conducting the research with the local fire academy, leading researchers Oldham and Jabai to construct and propose a research study to the governing IRB (Institutional Research Board).
The research project involves evaluating the mobility of fire academy cadets prior to and after the academy. The study will utilize the DARI System as a means of evaluating mobility through movement analysis. After pre-testing is complete, the cadets continue through the academy, while following current program protocols. The project in itself, is a means of evaluating the effectiveness of the current fitness program being provided by the academy staff. The project does not involve any means of education or training interventions provided by the researchers. The cadets will go through follow-up rounds of testing at 6-weeks, 12-weeks, and both 3-months and 6-months in fire service at local departments.
After IRB approval, the team mapped out pre-academy and post-academy testing dates and times. In August 2021, the research team made a trip to Sulphur Springs, TX to work with Class 68 of Fire In Texas’ Fire Academy. So far, the research team has completed the first initial round of testing in August of 2021, with the second round of testing in September of 2021. The research team and cadets are waiting for the next round of testing to be performed.