Our team – through the Foundation and other organizations – has an extensive past performance record of developing and conducting firefighter health and safety projects from research through successful implementation.

Some of our notable accomplishments include:

  • Completed a FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety grant to implement a regional firefighter wellness program (EMW-2017-FP-00711).
  • Assisted St Petersburg Fire Rescue with developing its wellness-fitness program (i.e. Peer Fitness Trainer program and station-based exercise equipment) via the fire department’s FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants award (FY2016).
  • Completed a FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Research & Development grant for a full-scale clinical prevention trial titled, “Worksite exercise interventions for low back injury prevention in firefighters” (EMW-2013-FP-00723).
  • Completed a research study titled, “Comparison of the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) to weight lifting exercises using EMG and motion analysis” (2017).
  • Developed the Firefighters Guide to Health and Wellness (EMW-2013-FP-00723).
  • Implemented and instructed low back injury prevention for cadets at the San Pasqual Reservation Fire Academy. This program developed exercise protocols aimed at improving fitness levels required to pass the Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) (2013-2015).
  • Completed a FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Research & Development grant for a proof of concept clinical study titled, “Low back injury prevention in firefighters” (EMW-2009-FP-00418).
  • Assisted San Diego Fire Rescue Department with developing and implementing the San Diego Regional Firefighter Wellness Center via the fire department’s FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants award (FY2004).
  • Introduced a pilot back injury prevention program to firefighters of Los Angeles County Fire Rescue (1999-2000).

FIRE SERVICE DISSEMINATION EFFORTS (10/12/2021)

FIRE SERVICE and MILITARY – PAPERS and REPORTS

Mayer JM, Mooney V, Harris D, Verna J, Parker R. San Diego Firefighter’s Regional Wellness Center – Year 1 Summary Report 2005; submitted to City of San Diego in May 2006.

Verna J, Stowell C, Parker R, Duran A, Mayer JM. Firefighters & back injuries: the new study. Published by Firefighter Magazine online November 3, 2010 at: http://my.firefighternation.com/profiles/blogs/firefighters-amp-back-injuries.

Mayer JM, Nuzzo JL. Worksite exercise improves back and core muscular endurance in firefighters. Firework, 2012;1(45):3,9.

Mayer JM. Final performance report: Low back injury prevention in firefighters (EMW-2009-FP-00418; submitted to sponsor (FEMA, Department of Homeland Security) on February 6, 2013.

Mayer JM, Quillen WS. Final performance report: Reduction of risk for low back injury in theater of operations (W81XWH-11-2-0170; University of South Florida); submitted to sponsor (US Department of Defense, Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program) on December 10, 2015.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Firefighter wellness and fitness programs in the State of Florida. Florida Fire Service Magazine, 2016;October:10-1.

Mayer JM, Lane CL, Brady O, Chen H, Dagenais S. Final performance report: Worksite exercise interventions for low back injury prevention in firefighters (EMW-2013-FP-00723; submitted to sponsor (FEMA, Department of Homeland Security) on October 30, 2018.

Mayer JM, Andres A, Lane CL. Implementation of a regional firefighter wellness initiative during a global pandemic. Fire Engineering, 2021;September:2-6.

FIRE SERVICE and MILITARY PRESENTATIONS

Mayer JM. Firefighter wellness and fitness: current understanding and future directions. Annual Firefighter Health and Safety Conference, Orlando, FL, December 2008.

Mayer JM. Improving back muscle endurance and core stability in firefighters: a randomized trial. FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants Research & Development Annual Meeting, New York, NY, August 2011.

Mayer JM. Improving back muscular endurance and core stability in firefighters: a randomized trial – preliminary findings. FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants Research & Development Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, August 2012.

Mayer JM. Worksite exercise and education programs for prevention of musculoskeletal injuries in firefighters. Firefighter Safety and Health Conference, Florida Fire Chiefs Association, Orlando, FL, December 2013.

Quillen WS, Childs JD, Mayer JM. Low back pain in the US military: epidemiology, prevention, and future directions. Special Operations Medical Association Annual Scientific Assembly. Tampa, FL, December 2013.

Mayer JM. Worksite exercise interventions for low back injury prevention in firefighters. FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants Research & Development Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, August 2014.

Mayer JM. Worksite exercise interventions for low back injury prevention in firefighters. FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants Research & Development Annual Meeting, National Harbor, MD, August 2015.

Mayer JM, Lane CL. Worksite exercise interventions for low back injury prevention in firefighters. FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants Research & Development Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, August 2016.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Considerations for telehealth delivery of therapeutic exercise by federal health professionals. Society of Federal Health Professionals – AMSUS Annual Meeting, National Harbor, MD, November 2016.

Mayer JM, Lane CL, Highsmith MJ. Current perspectives in management of low back pain in lower extremity amputees. Society of Federal Health Professionals – AMSUS Annual Meeting, National Harbor, MD, November 2016.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. First responder wellness and fitness programs: practical applications and future directions. Firefighter Safety and Health Conference, Florida Fire Chiefs Association, Orlando, FL, December 2016.

Lane CL, Brady O, Mayer JM. Prevention strategies for low back pain in the military: a systematic review. Society of Federal Health Professionals – AMSUS Annual Meeting, National Harbor, MD, November 2017.

Mayer JM, Lane CL. Back injury prevention in firefighters: optimizing fitness programs to match job demands. Firefighter Safety and Health Conference, Florida Fire Chiefs Association, Orlando, FL, December 2017.

Mayer JM. Worksite exercise interventions for low back injury prevention in firefighters. FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grants Research & Development Annual Meeting, Dallas, TX, August 2018.

Neilson BD, Childs JD, Koppenhaver SL, Francis M, Hurley B, Morgan SC, Stoute SM, Quillen WS, Mayer JM. Relationship between time of day tested and lumbar spine strength and endurance. Medical Health System Research Symposium, Orlando, FL, August 2018.

Mayer JM, Lane CL, Verna J. Firefighter Wellness Programs: Past, Present, & Future. Improving health & resiliency of those who protect us. San Bernardino County Fire Chiefs Association Monthly Meeting (virtual). January 2021.

 

 

BOOK CHAPTERS

Mayer JM, Jahnke SA. Injury, musculoskeletal disorders, and ergonomics. in Health Risks and Fair Compensation in the Fire Service. editor: Guidotti TL, Springer, New York, 2016, pp. 209-25.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Chapter: Worksite exercise programs: benefits and strategies. APA Handbook of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Volume 2: Exercise Psychology. Editors: Labbé E, Petruzzello S. American Psychological Association, 2019, pp. 569-86.

 

 

SCIENTIFIC PAPERS

Mayer JM. Improving the health and safety of firefighters through wellness-fitness initiatives. FCA Journal, 2008;July:30-2.

Mayer JM, Nuzzo JL, Chen R, Quillen WS, Verna JL, Miro R, Dagenais S. The impact of obesity on back and core muscular endurance in firefighters. Journal of Obesity, 2012;729283:1-7.

Mayer JM, Nuzzo JL, Dagenais S. Use of participant focus groups to identify barriers and facilitators to worksite exercise therapy adherence in randomized controlled trials involving firefighters. Patient Preference and Adherence, 2013;7:207-15.

Nuzzo JN, Mayer JM. Body mass normalisation for ultrasound measurements of lumbar multifidus and abdominal muscle size. Manual Therapy, 2013;18(3):237-42.

Mayer JM. Back and core exercise in firefighters: Summary of findings from the FEMA-funded research grant at the University of South Florida. FCA Journal, 2013;April:20-1.

Mayer JM. Improving low back muscular strength and core muscular endurance in US Army Soldiers: preliminary findings from the DOD-funded research grant at the University of South Florida. FCA Journal, 2014;January:14,16.

Nuzzo JL, Haun D, Mayer JM. Ultrasound measurements of lumbar multifidus and abdominal muscle size in firefighters. Journal of Back Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, 2014 2014;27(4):427-33.

Nuzzo JL, Mayer JM. Body mass normalization for isometric tests of muscle endurance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2013;27(7):2039-45.

Mayer JM, Nuzzo JL. Worksite back and core exercise in firefighters: effect on lumbar multifidus muscle size. Work, 2015;50(4):621-627.

Mayer JM, Quillen WS, Verna JL, Chen R, Lunseth P, Dagenais S. Impact of a supervised worksite exercise program on back and core muscular endurance in firefighters. American Journal of Health Promotion, 2015 Jan-Feb;29(3):165-72.

Mayer JM, Lane CL. Can technology be used to enhance exercise outcomes? FCA Journal, 2016;January:20-1.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Why you should properly train the posterior chain. FCA Journal, 2016; April:24-6.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Firefighter wellness and fitness programs in the State of Florida. FCA Journal, 2016;October.

Mayer JM, Childs JD, Neilson BD, Chen H, Koppenhaver SL, Quillen WS. Effect of lumbar progressive resistance exercise on lumbar muscular strength and core muscular endurance in soldiers. Military Medicine, 2016;181(11/12):1615-22.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Current perspectives on exercise management of low back pain in lower extremity amputees. FCA Journal, 2017;April.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Medical report: Posterior chain exercises for prevention and treatment of low back pain. ACSM Health & Fitness Journal, 2017;Jul/Aug:46-8.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Matching exercise programs to job demands. FCA Journal, 2017;October.

Farrokhi S, Mazzone B, Schneider M, Gombatto S, Mayer JM, Highsmith MJ, Hendershot BD. Biopsychosocial risk factors associated with chronic low back pain after lower limb amputation. Medical Hypotheses, 2017;108(Oct):1-9.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Chiropractic physicians as leaders in first responder wellness. FCA Journal, 2018, January.

Lane CL, Hardwick D, Janus TP, Chen H, Lu Y, Mayer JM. Comparison of the firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Test to weight lifting exercises using electromyography. Work, 2019;62:459-67.

Highsmith MJ, Goff LM, Lewandowski AL, Farrokhi S, Hendershot BD, Hill OT, Rábago CA, Russell-Esposito E, Orriola JJ, Mayer JM. Low back pain in persons with lower extremity amputation: a systematic review of the literature. The Spine Journal, 2019;19(3):552-63.

Johnson BVB, Mayer JM. Preliminary development of a tactical athlete nutrition score. Journal of Kinesiology and Wellness, 2020;9(1):6-17.

Johnson BVB, Mayer JM. Evaluating nutrient intake of career firefighters compared to military dietary reference intakes. Nutrients, 2020;12(1876). doi:10.3390/nu12061876.

Lane CL, Melton B. Sleep improvement programs for firefighters. A critically appraised topic. Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC) Report, 2021;60:26-28.

Mayer JM, Lane CL, Brady O, Chen H, Lu Y, Johnson BVB, Dagenais S. Comparison of supervised and telehealth delivery of worksite exercise for prevention of low back pain in firefighters: a cluster randomized trial. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2020;62(10):e586-92.

Dagenais S, Hayflinger C, Mayer JM. Economic evaluation of an extended telehealth worksite exercise intervention to reduce lost work time from low back pain in career firefighters. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 2021;31(2):431-443.

Lane CL, Brady O, Mayer JM. Comprehensive assessment of implementation factors related to worksite exercise in firefighters. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (accepted for publication).

SCIENTIFIC PRESENTATIONS

Mayer JM, Verna JL, Mooney V, Udermann BE. Wellness and fitness characteristics of firefighters. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, June 2007.

Verna J, Mooney V, Stowell C, Parker R, Mayer JM. Back muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility characteristics of firefighters. 7th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain. Los Angeles, CA, November 2010.

Mayer JM. Exercise therapy for low back pain: a review of the evidence. Veterans Heath Administration, Chiropractic Service 6th Annual Meeting. Las Vegas, NV, March 2011.

Nuzzo JL, Quillen WS, Mayer JM. Relationship between trunk muscular endurance and anthropometric measures in firefighters. University of South Florida Health Research Day. Tampa, FL, February 2012.

Mayer JM, Chen R, Nuzzo JL, Dagenais S, Verna JL, Quillen WS. Relationship of back muscular endurance with anthropometric measures in firefighters. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA, June 2012.

Libous JL, Dagenais S, Quillen WS, Mayer JM. Assessment of barriers and facilitators to worksite exercise in firefighters. University of South Florida Health Research Day. Tampa, FL, February 2013.

Mayer JM, Quillen WS. Effect of worksite exercise on development of back and core muscular endurance in firefighters. American Occupational Health Conference, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Orlando, FL, April 2013.

Mayer JM, Quillen WS, Dagenais S. Effect of worksite exercise on back and core muscular endurance in firefighters. International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine Annual Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, May 2013.

Neilson BD, Childs JD, Koppenhaver SL, Francis M, Hurley B, Morgan SC, Stoute SM, Quillen WS, Mayer JM. Relationship between time of day tested and lumbar spine strength and endurance. Academy of Health Sciences Graduate School Research Day, San Antonio, TX, 2013.

Quillen WS, Childs JD, Libous JL, Mayer JM. Low back pain in the US Military: epidemiology, prevention, and current Research. University of South Florida Health Research Day. Tampa, FL, February 2014.

Mayer JM, Childs JD*, Neilsen B, Koppenhaver SL, Quillen WS. Effects of lumbar extensor progressive resistance exercise versus core stabilization exercise on low back strength and endurance in soldiers: preliminary results of a randomized clinical trial. American Occupational Health Conference, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, San Antonio, TX, April 2014 (*presenting author).

Mayer JM, Child JD, Quillen WS. Tutorial lecture: Physical fitness interventions for low back pain in the military. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, May 2014.

Libous JL, Mayer JM. Development and implementation of a web-based system to enhance delivery of back and core exercise interventions for clinical trials. Society of Clinical Research Associates Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, September 2014 (finalist – best poster presentation).

Mayer JM, Childs JD, Libous JL, Chen H, Quillen WS. Effect of lumbar extensor progressive resistance exercise versus core stability exercise on lumbar extension muscular strength and core muscular endurance in soldiers. North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, November 2014.

Mayer JM. Impact of a supervised worksite exercise program on back and core muscular endurance in firefighters. Webinar – “Sneak Peek” Jan/Feb 2015 issue, American Journal of Health Promotion. January 2015. (invited webinar presentation)

Mayer JM, Childs JD, Libous JL, Neilson BD, Koppenhaver SL, Quillen WS. Factors influencing lumbar extension strength gains in soldiers. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA, May 2015.

Mayer JM (moderator), Lane CL, Campbell B, D’Agostino D. Sports Nutrition Expert Panel. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, September 2016.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Factors impacting adherence to worksite exercise programs in firefighters. Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference. Colorado Springs, CO, March 2017.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Departmental variations in wellness, fitness, and occupational injury characteristics of firefighters. American Occupational Health Conference, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Denver, CO, April 2017.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Departmental variations in wellness and fitness characteristics of firefighters. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. Denver, CO, May 2017.

Mayer JM, Lane CL. First responders as tactical athletes: occupational health considerations. University of South Florida Occupational Medicine Residency Program, Tampa, FL, September 2017.

Oawster M, Whelchel J, Gartman G, Lane CL, Santos N, Janus T, Mayer JM. Relationship between dietary habits and anthropometric, injury, and fitness characteristics of firefighters. USF Health Research Day, Tampa, FL, February 2018.

Lane CL, Janus TJ, Santos, N, Mayer JM. Relationship between injuries, fitness, and dietary habits in firefighters. Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference. San Diego, CA, March 2018.

Lane CL, Mayer JM. Comparison of core muscle activity during occupational tasks and weightlifting exercises in firefighters. Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference. San Diego, CA, March 2018.

Mayer JM, Brady O, Lane CL. Worksite interventions for prevention of occupational low back pain: a systematic review. American Occupational Health Conference, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, New Orleans, LA, April 2018.

Lane CL, Hardwick D, Janus T, Santos N, Mayer JM. Comparison of the Firefighter Candidate Physical Ability Test to weight lifting exercises in firefighters. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, May 2018.

Lane CL, Brady O, Janus TJ, Mayer JM. Factors influencing firefighters’ perceptions of worksite exercise. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. St Louis, MO, May 2018.

Mayer JM (chair), Diulus C, Lane CL, Stout A, Tauzell R. Nutrition considerations you need to know for spine disorders – CME Webinar. North American Spine Society, May 2018.

Mayer JM, Diulus C, Stout A, Tauzell R. Nutrition considerations you need to know for spine disorders. North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, September 2018.

Tauzell R, Mayer JM, Diulus C, Lane CL. Nutritional considerations in spine care. North American Spine Society Evidence & Technology Spine Summit, Park City, UT, February 2019.

Mayer JM. Risk of a Sedentary Lifestyle/Nutrition. in Back to the Future: Low Back Pain Disability and Episode Risk Reduction (Tauzell R – Moderator). North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, September 2019.

Dagenais S. Economics of Low Back Pain Prevention. in Back to the Future: Low Back Pain Disability and Episode Risk Reduction (Tauzell R – Moderator). North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, September 2019.

Highsmith MJ (moderator), Klenow T (moderator). Mayer JM. Contemporary Perspectives on Low Back Pain in the Population with Limb Loss. American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists National Assembly, San Diego, CA, September 2019.

Mayer JM, Johnson BVB. Back injuries in first responders. San Diego Orthopaedic Surgery Spine Fellowship Program – Monthly Open Spine Conference. San Diego Spine Foundation, Scripps Green Hospital, La Jolla, CA, January 2020.

Johnson, BVB, Mayer, JM. Association of caloric intake with physical fitness and low back pain in firefighters. American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA June 2020. (e-poster at virtual meeting, conference cancelled due to COVID pandemic).

Mayer JM. Introduction, Implementation of Telehealth for Spine Care during a Pandemic: Clinical and Research Lessons Learned. in Mayer JM (moderator), Clifford B, Croucher M, Murphy D. NASS Exercise Committee: Virtual Delivery of Spine Care. North American Spine Society Annual Meeting, Boston MA, September 2021.

Mayer JM, Verna JL, Lane CL. Implementation of a firefighter wellness initiative during record wildfires and a global pandemic. Association Chiropractic Colleges – Research Agenda Conference, San Diego, CA, March 2022 (accepted for presentation).

  

A Firefighter in Full Gear

Kickoff of the research project – Worksite Exercise for Back Injury Prevention – with Charity Lane, Dr. John Mayer, and Fire Chief Tom Forward

Peer Fitness Trainers coaching each other through the back injury prevention exercises