Study shows health, reaction-time declines in firefighters
BOISE, Idaho — Randy Brooks’ son had a request three years ago: What could his dad do to make wildland firefighting safer? To Brooks, a professor at the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources who deals with wildland firefighting, it was more of a command. His son, Bo Brooks, is a wildland firefighter who a few days earlier during that 2015 fire season fled a wall of flames that killed three of his fellow firefighters in eastern Washington. The result of the conversation was an online survey that drew some 400 firefighters… That led to an ongoing health-monitoring study involving wrist-worn motion monitors and body composition measurements that last year found health declines and deteriorating reaction times among firefighters as the season progressed.