Since the introduction of turnout gear, today’s firefighter is totally encapsulated. This allows firefighters to be shielded from the extreme temperatures of today’s fire.The downfall to being so protected is the condition of heat stress, which is the imbalance of heat gain to heat loss within the human body. This problem plagues every fire department and is a serious concern in the summer months. That is why rehabilitation (“Rehab”) on the fire scene is becoming more of a factor in firefighter health and safety.
“Rehabilitation is a post work or rest period management of the individuals environment, activity, condition, and clothing to limit the effects of heat accumulation from work in hot environments.”
Many Fire Departments add a piece of equipment to their arsenal to increase firefighter health and safety. This is the KORE KOOLER REHAB CHAIR made by Morning Pride Manufacturing, who is also a leading manufacturer of firefighter protective ensembles.
The rehab chair uses the practice of “passive cooling” (removal of SCBA, coat, helmet and gloves) for fire ground rehab but goes one step further and introduces forearm cooling. The chair relies on direct contact of the skin with a large volume of Cold water through immersion. Heat is transferred from the hotter arms of the firefighter to the cooler water in the troughs and the cooled blood flows back to the body core picking up additional core heat for subsequent removal.