Document Type


Journal Title

International Journal of Environtal Research and Public Health

Publication Date





First responders lose their lives in the line of duty each year, and many of these deaths result from strenuous physical exertion and exposure to harmful environmental agents. Continuous health monitoring may detect diseases and alert the first responder when vital signs are reaching critical levels. However, continuous monitoring must be acceptable to first responders. The purpose of this study was to discover first responders' current use of wearable technology, their perceptions of what health and environmental indicators should be monitored, and who should be permitted to monitor them. The survey was sent to 645 first responders employed by 24 local fire department stations. A total of 115 (17.8%) first responders answered the survey and 112 were used for analysis. Results found first responders perceived a need for health and environmental monitoring. The health and environmental indicators that respondents perceived as most important for monitoring in the field were heart rate (98.2%) and carbon monoxide (100%), respectively. Overall, using and wearing monitoring devices was not age-dependent and health and environmental concerns were important for first responders at any stage of their career. However, current wearable technology does not seem to be a viable solution for first responders due to device expense and durability issues.

MeSH Headings

Humans, Vital Signs, Wearable Electronic Devices, Heart Rate, Environmental Monitoring, Emergency Responders, Monitoring, Physiologic



Included in

Epidemiology Commons