Jabai Performance and Texas A&M University Commerce Collaborate with Paris Fire Department on Research Study

In the public sector, it is becoming more common for exercise science professionals to join forces with the tactical community to incorporate injury management programs.

Read Firefighting On-Duty Injuries and Decreasing Potential Risk Factors

These programs are individualized and unique to a specific department or agency’s budget, resources, and or personnel experience/qualifications. The Texas Tactical Strength and Conditioning Academy (TXTSCA), run by Jabai Performance, continues to drive education and program development throughout the tactical population through research collaborations with local departments. Earlier in the year, Jabai Performance partnered with the Health and Human Performance Department at Texas A&M University – Commerce (TAMUC) to conduct research and provide resources for a local fire department. Dr. Michael Oldham, of TAMUC, is the driving influence from the university staff to support and coordinate the use of exercise physiology resources for first responder research. The research being conducted by Mr. Jabai and Dr. Oldham investigates the impact that a 6-week strength and conditioning program has on the lumbar spine of full-time firefighters. TAMUC is responsible for technology use, procedure of assessment, and data collection; while Jabai Performance performs the strength and conditioning programming portion, conducts training interventions, and evaluates pre/post data comparisons. Although each entity has their own “role” within the study, the partnership involves assisting each other and providing an extra hand when something needs to be accomplished, a clear example of teamwork.

The research conducted with the Melissa Fire Department can be VIEWED HERE.

In order to continue data collection and increase participant count, the researchers expanded the study to include other departments.

Prior Research with Melissa Fire Department: City of Melissa Press Release


With the expansion of the research study, Hussien Jabai of TXTSCA reached out to Chad Graves, Deputy Chief for A-Shift, of the Paris Fire Department to begin a collaborative partnership. The fire department showed immediate interest and went through the process of administration approval to begin the first steps in recruitment. From there, the recruitment process began with video calls for Mr. Jabai and Dr. Oldham to introduce themselves to the firefighters, explain the concepts of the study, answer any questions or concerns regarding the study, and explain the process of signing up to participate. Deputy Chief Graves assisted Mr. Jabai and Dr. Oldham further through coordinating the personnel participation, organizing for each station personnel to join meetings and attend assessment/training interventions, and relay information throughout the process.

After nearly a week post video call based recruitment, Mr. Jabai, Dr. Oldham, and TAMUC graduate research assistants traveled out to Paris Fire Department with the DARI System, a markerless movement capture software being utilized for the pre and post program assessments.

Learn more about DARI Motion HERE

The Paris Fire Department consists of 3 stations, with approximately 50 personnel. Within each station, firefighters are divided into 3 different shifts on a 24 hr on/ 48 hr off shift schedule (A Shift, B Shift, C Shift). Due to assistance from staff and cooperation from participants, Dr. Oldham and the graduate research assistants were able to set up the movement capture system in the bay of Station 1 and have personnel from each station meet at one location for assessments. The entire assessment lasted approximately 10-15 minutes per personnel.

After all assessments utilizing DARI were complete, firefighters than began a training intervention with TSAC-F Instructor Hussien Jabai. Mr. Jabai explained the reasoning behind exercise selection, demonstrated each movement prescribed in the study, and corrected exercise technique for those needing assistance. Each participant went through the entire warm-up, movement prep, and workout while asking questions and addressing concerns. The training intervention is a vital factor in any training study, as that is where you “set the stage” or “tone” for the remainder of the prescription. For this study, participants will now complete the 6-weeks of strength and conditioning, then perform a post-assessment to evaluate the efficiency of the program.

View DARI Assessment and Training Intervention Highlight Reel Below

Currently, firefighters have begun Week 1 of the 6-week study. We will continue to update news reports and articles on the research as the program developments.

Media Coverage on research collaboration with Paris Fire Department:


Hussien Jabai, MS, CSCS, Collaborates with Human Performance Department of Texas A&M University Commerce to Conduct Firefighter Research

The wellness initiative within the tactical community has inspired exercise science professionals to collaborate with police departments, fire departments, military bases, academies, and universities to provide new innovations in wellness services. As data builds within the published literature discussing injury rates, cause of injury, and details of injury scenarios within the firefighting community, it is time for academics to catch up on publishing literature in regard to injury prevention/management programs.

Read Firefighting On-Duty Injuries and Decreasing Potential Risk Factors

To assist in combating the statistics of firefighter injuries, Hussien Jabai, MS, CSCS, has been working alongside the Melissa Fire Department as a tactical strength and conditioning instructor. In 2018, Mr. Jabai volunteered to provide a 12-week pilot study to display the benefits of an organized and research-driven injury prevention program. Although the pilot study was not published, Mr. Jabai constructed pre and post testing to illustrate the impact that the strength and conditioning program has on performance and movement patterns. The program incorporated dynamic warm up sequences, corrective exercise, strength training methods, circuit training, and variations of interval training. The positive results of the post-test were presented to the administration of the department and the city for program funding requests. Since 2019, Hussien Jabai has been providing strength and conditioning programming for the department and consulting with administration on program development.

(If you would like to consult with Mr. Jabai on program design/development, feel free to contact us here.)

As a former graduate student of Texas A&M University in Commerce, Mr. Jabai reached out to his former professor and colleague Dr. Michael Oldham, in the Human Performance Department, to collaborate on firefighter research. Dr. Oldham and Mr. Jabai worked together to complete the review of past literature and construct a research proposal to acquire IRB approval. The primary objective of the research was to evaluate the impact of a 6-week strength and conditioning program on lumbar spine mobility in full-time firefighters. The phrase “full-time” is key in the research protocol, as a standard schedule for full-time personnel requires being at the station every 3 days for a 24-hour shift. Physical activity can be mandated for firefighters during shift but cannot be mandated off-shift. Additionally, the research project aims to identify the pros and cons of restricted training schedules, e.g., every 3 days.

The highlight of the research revolves around the unique testing method of utilizing the DARI Motion Capture System. DARI, a cutting edge markerless motion capture system, allows the research to be done remotely, without the use of reflective markers for motion capture.

Click Here to visit the Dari system Website

Pre-testing with the DARI System consisted of 3 consecutive days, covering all 3 shifts (Shift A, B, and C). Dr. Oldham, accompanied by graduate research assistants of the Human Performance Department of TAMUC, brought the system to the Melissa Fire Department. The DARI system was set up by Dr. Oldham and the graduate research assistants within the bay of the station an hour prior to the scheduled testing time. Dr. Oldham and his assistants were responsible for set up and utilization of the DARI system. Prior to participating in testing, firefighters read and signed informed consent / liability forms. Post movement analysis via DARI and report explanation, Mr. Jabai coordinated the fitness instruction portion of the study. Mr. Jabai had firefighters walk through the exercise prescription portion of the study to evaluate form and provide modifications when needed. Jabai also discussed protocol for progression of repetitions, training load, and rest durations. Firefighters were also notified to complete a Google form post training to document session completion and provide feedback. As the availability within the fire community is unpredictable due to spontaneous emergency calls, the group of exercise science professionals freed up their entire morning schedules to allow for gaps between testing participants. The pre-testing has been complete, firefighters are currently at the early stages of their 6-week exercise prescription, and post-testing will be scheduled in the next few weeks to evaluate program effectiveness.

TTSCA would like to encourage exercise science professionals to contribute in the mission toward a higher quality of wellness within the tactical community. We would love to collaborate with departments and tactical professionals around the nation, and worldwide. If you need a strength and conditioning program, would love to collaborate on research, are interested in annual fitness testing, or would like to meet with a TSAC Consultant, please complete our CONTACT FORM and note your purpose of communication.

Author: Hussien Jabai, MS, CSCS