Campus News: HESSE Students and Faculty Serve at CFD

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HESSE Students and Faculty Serve at CFD
Noah Gilmer - 4/10/2020

HESSE Students and Faculty Serve at CFD


Students and faculty from the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Secondary Education (HESSE) recently assisted the Cleveland Fire Department (CFD) in its "Rookie Training School."


Since 2018, the HESSE faculty and students have helped in the annual physical fitness assessments of firefighters at CFD, conducting research on those still in the process of becoming a firefighter.  


The testing was led by Dr. Racheal Lawler from Lee's athletic training department. Students involved include Elizabeth Cope and Amanda Olevsky, from the athletic training graduate program, and Corrine Perez from the pre-athletic training department. The Lee team worked with the fire department to give the firefighters more accurate readings on body composition and hydration status.


"We are very thankful to the Cleveland Fire Department for allowing us to come and participate in its firefighter training," said Lawler. "This is always a great educational experience for us all."


The firefighters in training were learning how to react in high stress situations and maneuver through a pitch-black maze, among other things, all while wearing their self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).


The Lee students measured how the firefighters sustained themselves during their training in terms of hydration status and their bodies' reaction to the stress. To provide the most accurate data, Lee University provided the fire department access to its InBody 770, a machine that gives a segmented look at muscle, fat, and skeletal mass. The machine uses electric currents to give detailed results on the user's body, which allows them to know how their body carries and stores fat. Using the InBody 770 let them track exactly how the firefighters' bodies were reacting.


The Lee team also used the FireHUD, an easy-to-use, real-time system that monitors the physiology of everyone on the team and gives alerts before injuries occur. This device measured the firefighters heart rate, exertion, calories burned, and core body temperature.  


"The Cleveland Fire Department's partnership with Lee University's health and exercise science department in our Rookie School has been tremendously beneficial to our department in ensuring that our cadets remain healthy," said Ron Harrison, chief of the CFD. "We are very proud to partner with Lee."


For more information about Lee's HESSE department, visit     

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