Tom Service

Tom Service
Research Assistant, Center for Occupational Research and Testing
Department: Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education
Area of expertise

Kinesiology, Occupational Exercise Physiology, Applied Thermal Physiology, Stress Physiology, Firefighter Health


What would you like others to know about you?  

I am extremely fortunate to have been born and raised on the traditional lands of the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples on the Saanich Peninsula. Having strong ties to my community through various sports growing up, I joined my local fire department in 2013. An educational presentation on the stress of firefighting from my current supervisor, Dr. Stuart-Hill, back in 2016 captured my interest in occupational physiology. What began as a directed studies at the end of my BSc has progressed to my current status as a PhD candidate studying occupational stress and exercise physiology. This has allowed me to intertwine my research and personal interests/hobbies while working to optimize knowledge translation of physiological issues encountered in the fire service.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time at UVic doing graduate studies?

Through my graduate studies, I have presented at multiple conferences for the American College of Sports Medicine, although in my opinion, my greatest feats so far have been in knowledge transfer to the occupational populations I research.

I am working on developing operational guidelines for managing and mitigating heat strain on the fire ground, and appeared on a firefighter health and wellness podcast to discuss the importance of sleep among firefighters. My current work on firefighter heat strain and the testing of a novel approach to mitigate the inflammatory responses to heat strain is graciously supported by a WorkSafeBC Doctoral Research Training Award. The primary goal of this is to blunt the flux of inflammatory markers in the body with the overarching goal of reducing inflammatory-related diseases like cardiovascular disease.

A further interest of mine is investigating the impact of Incident Commander (IC) roles, and how certain training programs can relieve physiological and cognitive strain on the IC, resulting in a safer work environment, and healthier IC.