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Helping Police, Firefighters Meet Physical Demands of Job

photo of Mark Abel dragging mock victim
Dr. Mark Abel demonstrates how to carry a 165 pound victim.

Mark Abel, associate professor of exercise physiology in the UK College of Education Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, conducts research to enhance the safety, health, and occupational performance of structural firefighters. As a former firefighter, he understands the demands of the job.  As a researcher, his lab is identifying appropriate training strategies to prepare firefighters for the physical challenges of the job. He utilizes innovative research methods to assess occupational performance by taking the laboratory to the fireground. Physiological measurements are taken while firefighters perform simulated fireground tasks. Currently, his lab is identifying physical fitness characteristics that are related to efficient work economy. This research will assist fire departments in hiring qualified personnel and guide practitioners in developing appropriate training programs to enhance occupational performance. 

 Abel completes the Scott Firefighter Combat Challenge course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2uusrWG2dg 

photo of Dr. Mark Abel carrying equipment on stairs
Dr. Mark Abel carries a high rise pack while wearing a 50 pound vest simulating the weight of additional firefighter gear.