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Balance capability and incidence of injury in rookie smokejumpers

1 May 1991


Thirty-two rookie smokejumpers were measured for balance capability at the beginning of their training at three U.S. Forest Service smokejumper bases. At the end of the firefighting season, data were gathered from each base regarding training completed, number of injuries sustained, number of days before injury occurred, and number of parachute jumps made. Of the fifteen rookies who did not complete training, one suffered a partial paralysis and another was unable to execute proper parachute landing; the remaining thirteen were unable to pass the physical tests. Seventeen rookies completed training, and six of these sustained injuries. Two of these were injured twice. Analysis of the data using the Pearson Product-Moment method indicated statistically significant correlations (p < .05) among three general measures of balance and injury--single leg stance, number of injuries, and number of days before injury occurred. the greatest correlation was found between right-legged standing and the number of days before injury occurred (r=.935, p < .05).


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