UM Does Research On Smoke Jumper Equipment Lighter - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

UM Does Research On Smoke Jumper Equipment Lighter

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

The University of Montana's College of Education and Human Sciences is researching ways to make the Missoula smoke jumper's jobs easier during the wildfire season. They're researching ways to help smoke jumpers carry their heavy equipment more efficiently.

Fighting wildfires in the summer heat is not an easy job, especially when you add more than 100 pounds of heavy equipment to the mix.

"No one's really looked at that type of weight, especially over that type of terrain, and hiking miles on end," UM graduate student Michael Powell said.

He's studying Exercise Science at UM with an focus in bio mechanics. Powell is part of a team of students in the field working in the university's bio mechanic lab to come up with ways to help smoke jumpers carry a lighter load.

"We're really trying to help them move about and do their job better, I mean, they are carrying anywhere from 120 to 125 pounds, hiking three miles and actually jumping in with this load as well," Powell said.

The bio mechanics lab is part of Phyllis J. Washington Education Center. It includes advanced research equipment for the study of human movement.

"If you're having to stop and adjust your packs or take breaks, you're not effective," said Dr. Charlie Palmer, the Associate Professor of the health and human performance department. He was a smoke jumper for 10 years, and has been involved in the project since the idea formed. He said the best work in this field is done in the lab.

"You're able to come up with better product, as opposed to trial and error in the field," Palmer said.

The project is in the preliminary stages. Some of the tests include having smoke jumpers carry their packs on a treadmill, so researchers can collect data on their energy. Smoke jumpers also walked across force plates with packs so researchers see how they can better distribute the weight.

"It's a lot of weight for them to be carrying, and we just want them to utilize what they can," Powell said.

He said they hope to have the study done in time to help smoke jumpers next fire season. The project is one of several studies UM's Department of Health and Human Sciences is conducting to help firefighters.

Research is funded by the U.S. Forest Service, and the USDA's Missoula Technology and Development Center.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Gang violence, fears for children fuel rush to US

    Gang violence, fears for children fuel rush to US

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-07-24 06:22:18 GMT
    Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America.
    Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America.
  • Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

    Wyoming cave with fossil secrets to be excavated

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-07-24 06:22:15 GMT
    For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are preparing excavate a sinkhole-type cave in northern Wyoming that contains the ancient remains of tens of thousands of animals.
    For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are preparing excavate a sinkhole-type cave in northern Wyoming that contains the ancient remains of tens of thousands of animals.
  • Calif. wine collector set for sentencing in NY

    Calif. wine collector set for sentencing in NY

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 AM EDT2014-07-24 06:22:09 GMT
    A California wine collector faces sentencing in New York after he was convicted of making up to $20 million from 2004 to 2012 by selling bogus bottles of wine.
    A California wine collector faces sentencing in New York after he was convicted of making up to $20 million from 2004 to 2012 by selling bogus bottles of wine.
  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Carlton Complex Fire now 52% contained

    Carlton Complex Fire now 52% contained

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:48 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:48:19 GMT
    UPDATE: Officials say the massive wildfire that has destroyed about 150 homes in north-central Washington is now more than half contained. 
    UPDATE: Officials say the massive wildfire that has destroyed about 150 homes in north-central Washington is now more than half contained. Firefighters made good progress Wednesday as rain and hail fell. The moisture wasn't enough to extinguish the nearly 400-square-mile Carlton Complex of fires, but it gave crews a chance to dig lines along the south and east parts of the fire.
  • INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    INCREDIBLE drone video shows fire destruction over Pateros/Brewster

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 9:51 AM EDT2014-07-22 13:51:52 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
    KHQ.COM - Chelan HD Productions has given us permission to show this incredible video they shot with a drone surveying the damage done from the Carlton Complex Fire in the areas of Brewster and Pateros. This video is truly jaw dropping and really shows the level of destruction from the fire.
  • UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    UPDATE: Search and Rescue Efforts Continue for Flathead Kayaker

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:04:28 GMT
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
    The search for a missing kayaker will continue Monday on Flathead Lake, it's surrounding shores and the Flathead River, after he's been missing for more than 24 hours.
  • Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Update: Semi Removed, Lanes Reopen After Chemical Spill Near Bonner

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:22 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:22:36 GMT
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
    Emergency officials, including health department personnel, are on scene of a semi rollover east of Missoula.
  • Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Bugg Road fire near Tonasket

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:29:21 GMT
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
    KHQ.COM- UPDATE: The Bugg Road fire burning 7 miles east of Tonasket, WA and has destroyed one structure and expanded to 1,700 acres on Tuesday.This fire started on Monday and by the end of the day had burned 1,000 acres. Air support and dozers are trying to keep the fire in check.
  • Water Pipe Improvements in Bozeman

    Water Pipe Improvements in Bozeman

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:41 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:41:42 GMT
    A water main break earlier today knocked out the water supply to about 20 homes in Bozeman. This is the second break within recent weeks, but city officials say there is nothing to be alarmed about.
    A water main break earlier today knocked out the water supply to about 20 homes in Bozeman. This is the second break within recent weeks, but city officials say there is nothing to be alarmed about.
  • Bozeman Scuba Divers Explore Yellowstone Lake

    Bozeman Scuba Divers Explore Yellowstone Lake

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:38 PM EDT2014-07-23 03:38:22 GMT
    Montana is known for its outdoor recreational and adventure sports.There's everything from whitewater kayaking to extreme mountain biking.
    Montana is known for its outdoor recreational and adventure sports.There's everything from whitewater kayaking to extreme mountain biking.
  • Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-07-17 01:30:30 GMT
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.