Fiscal Year (FY) 2010
|Project Title:||Clinical Trial of an Intervention to Reduce Fatigue and Improve Safety and Health in Firefighters|
|Organization:||The Brigham & Women's Hospital, Inc.|
|Principle Investigator:||Charles A. Czeisler, Ph.D, MD|
|Period of Performance:||07/01/2011 – 06/30/2014|
Firefighters work some of the most challenging schedules known under highly stressful and demanding conditions. The need to work frequent extended shifts leads to acute and chronic sleep deficiency as well as disruption of circadian rhythms. Firefighters who are on-call overnight are particularly susceptible to sleep inertia, the neurocognitive impairment experienced immediately upon waking. The proposed fatigue countermeasure aims to increase sleep opportunities, and thereby improve firefighter safety and health.
The study includes a station-level trial of policies designed to maximize sleep opportunities during 24-hour shifts to improve alertness, performance, health and safety in firefighters.
A randomized clinical trial will be conducted, providing the most rigorous evaluation possible in an operational setting. Half the fire stations in a department will be randomly assigned to complete the intervention, termed Operation Fight Fatigue, in the first year of the study. The other half of the fire stations will complete the intervention in the second year. In this way, all firefighters will have the chance to benefit.
Projected Results and Conclusions:
The fatigue countermeasure intervention will improve the alertness, performance, health and safety of firefighters. The study expects to yield a cost-effective intervention that can be adopted by departments throughout the United State to improve the safety and health of firefighters.
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