Thermal safety standards for the use of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) ensembles have been established for various US occupations, but not for law enforcement personnel.
We examined thermal strain levels of 30 male US law enforcement personnel who participated in CBRN field training in Arizona, Florida, and Massachusetts.
Physiological responses were examined using unobtrusive heart rate (HR) monitors and a simple thermoregulatory model to predict core temperature (Tc) using HR and environment.
Thermal strain levels varied by environments, activity levels, and type of CBRN ensemble. Arizona and Florida volunteers working in hot-dry and hot-humid environment indicated high heat strain (predicted max Tc>38.5°C). The cool environment of Massachusetts reduced thermal strain although thermal strains were occasionally moderate.
The non-invasive method of using physiological monitoring and thermoregulatory modeling could improve law enforcement mission to reduce the risk of heat illness or injury.