AIR FORCE AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
Tests were conducted in the All Weather Test Facility to determine the physiologic penalty of wearing the fire fighters proximity suit for a 2- hour alert cycle in the crash truck. Hot-dry and hot-humid environments were produced in the chamber which duplicated the most severe thermal conditions anticipated at hot weather bases. Three subjects wearing the proximity suit except for gloves and helmet were exposed twice each to either the hot-dry or hot-wet environments for 2 hours. In half of the tests, the proximity suit coat was also eliminated from the clothing assembly. For the given hyperthermic conditions, the 2-hour exposure periods do not elicit physiologic responses or symptoms indicative of incipient heat exhaustion although significant physiological decrements were observed. For operational relevancy, where a rescue procedure could be called for toward the conclusion of the thermal stress period, the suggestion is made to continue this effort with a series of tests in which an exercise regimen is superimposed on the thermal stress exposure.