Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Health & Exercise Physiology

Faculty Mentor

Deborah Feairheller


Presented during the 18th Annual Summer Fellows Symposium, July 22, 2016 at Ursinus College.

Project Description

High levels of stress can lead to a higher resting blood pressure (BP) eventually leading to hypertension and increased risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Sources of stress can be a result of many factors but often stem from one’s occupation and lifestyle. There is an association between work stress, an increased heart rate, and systolic BP, which are all risk factors of CVD. Levels of stress can vary depending on the specific occupation. Emergency medical technicians (EMT), first responders, and firefighters (FF) have some of the most stressful jobs due to the demands of the occupation. Studies have demonstrated that EMTs, paramedics, and FF experience increased systolic and diastolic BP as well as higher heart rate during a work day. Importantly, sudden cardiac events are the number one cause of in-line duty death of volunteer FF, so understanding how these risk factors are affected is important. Symptoms could potentially carry into everyday life and increase their risk of CVD earlier in life. This study monitors BP using an ambulatory BP cuff, during a typical work day or night to observe BP response in FF and EMTs to receiving emergency dispatch calls.

Data so far suggests a systolic and diastolic BP surge in response to a pager call. There is also a potential relationship between years of experiences and pager surge as well as with the specific type of emergency call. This observation is suggesting specific emergency calls create more of a stress reaction in some responders over others.


Available to Ursinus community only.