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Fort Worth Fire Department Uses DRUID to Measure Fatigue

Study with Fire Fighter Recruits leverages sports medicine and technology to reduce injury rate

The Forth Worth Fire Department study monitored 60 recruits over 36-weeks.

A comprehensive analysis by Impairment Science and the Fort Worth Fire Department (FWFD) has yielded valuable insights into the intricate interplay of sleep, workload, fatigue, and workplace injuries.

 

The study was commissioned by Dr. Brian Newman, the Athletic Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Specialist at FWFD. Dr. Newman’s 20+ years of experience in professional sports and Division I college athletics has led him to follow a high-performance model in his work with the FWFD to improve wellness and reduce injury rates. “We’re modernizing our training practices using aerobic conditioning, nutrition, and analytics,” says Dr. Brian Newman. “In addition to measuring sleep and their workout regimen, we’re looking at neurocognitive function and impairment with the Druid technology.”

 

The FWFD study is being conducted at the FWFD Training Facility with this year’s class of 60 recruits over 36-weeks. The recruits are required to take a daily Druid test, answer a survey, and log their health vital signs each morning. The goal of the study is to understand the cadets’ fatigue during this rigorous training period so steps can be taken to reduce injuries and adjust training schedules. The study’s findings, with the data now available at approximately the halfway point, underscore the importance of considering individual variations and unique circumstances when interpreting the data.

 

Preliminary Findings

In total, the study, so far, has recorded over 9,000 Druid tests taken over 130 days. The Druid scores, the survey data, and the daily health measures were analyzed together. Overall, the analysis showed a correlation between their Druid scores, their Sleep Scores and their Work Activity Scores indicating that deficient sleep combined with a high workload led to greater fatigue.

 

The study, when completed in May 2024, will contribute significantly to a broader understanding of the factors influencing firefighter performance, emphasizing the necessity for individualized approaches to firefighter training and well-being. Once the study is completed and all 36 months of data are analyzed, it may uncover additional patterns or correlations that further enhance our understanding of firefighter well-being and performance dynamics.

 

The preliminary study notes:

“The study data underscores the importance of sleep quality in influencing the performance outcomes of recruits. It suggests that maintaining adequate sleep quality is crucial for optimal performance on tasks assessed by Druid scores. Addressing factors that contribute to poor sleep quality and implementing strategies to improve sleep hygiene may be essential for enhancing performance and overall effectiveness among recruits in training environments. Given these statistical insights, it is evident that factors related to sleep quality, temporal dynamics, and subjective assessments of difficulty play pivotal roles in determining Druid scores among recruits.”


Dr. Newman is using Druid daily to monitor the cognitive and physical health status and performance readiness of his recruits. “I look at the Druid charts,” he said, “to pick out those outliers in the morning.  Whose scores are up? Druid helps me ask “Hey, is everything okay?  Big picture, is lack of sleep and fatigue a predictor of injury? Looking at their Druid scores can we actually see their fatigue going up, or their impairment going up, so we can catch an injury before it happens?”


Forth Worth recruits recorded their daily workout difficulty level, their sleep quality. and their DRUID test scores.

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