A Comparative Analysis of Mark III Water Pump Carriage Systems
Forest Firefighting , Ergonomics , Biomechanics , Accelerometry
The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness and user-acceptability of three Mark 3 water pump carriage systems for the Aviation and Forest Fire Management division of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). Twenty Ontario Fire Rangers were recruited to wear three different designs of the Mark 3 carriage system (Original, Modified, and OMNR Prototype) through a circuit of tasks that simulated a Fire Ranger’s working environment. Subjective ratings were determined for difficulty of loading/unloading, discomfort, system stability and overall performance after each pump condition with a final ranking questionnaire on the same variables after circuit completion. Two tri-axial accelerometers mounted on each pump and the sternum of each participant provided data for calculation of relative pump-carrier accelerations. Measures were determined for the mean relative accelerations, 50th and 90th percentile acceleration amplitude distributions, and median acceleration frequencies. One-way repeated measures ANOVA with post-hoc comparisons were conducted on the objective and subjective rating data followed by ranking each score to attain a total score. Overall, the OMNR Prototype was ranked as the best system. It received a first place ranking for all subjective variables and a first place ranking in 10/18 objective variables with a second place ranking on 6/18 scores. It was concluded that the OMNR Prototype will be recommended for implementation as the OMNR fire suppression system. However, prior to full implementation, additional in-field evaluations should be conducted.