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Vision requirements for Volunteers.

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  • Vision requirements for Volunteers.

    Hi there. I've been looking to start volunteering, but I have a question. I have very little depth perception due to a history of eye muscle surgeries, especially when I was little. It doesn't affect me really at all day to day, but I was just wondering if anyone knows how this will affect my chances of becoming a volunteer. I have perfect visual acuity, color vision, field of view, and general health otherwise. The only thing is the depth perception. So how about it? Does anyone here have any experience with this or maybe could tell me what your medical requirements were when you started volunteering with your department? I plan on calling my local FD soon, but I was just wondering if anyone here might be able to lend a little advice. I appreciate the help.

  • #2
    Depth perception is hard to test, there are some stereoscopic devices out there which might catch it if your issue is related to your how your two eyes work together. I've rarely been tested for depth perception, and only one place used the stereoscope thingy. It had a series of shapes which were supposed to appear at different distances, and you were supposed to pick out the closest, furthest etc. Thing is they knew the machine didn't work well so they would prompt us until we got it right. After 2 or 3 years of annual testing they finally admitted it was broken and never replaced it. Out of 26 years, 21 career I was given that test 2 or 3 times.

    You can check NFPA (I think is is under 1582) for the conditions they feel are incompatible with being a firefighter. Departments may or may not follow this standard. I know many ask about vision and will require that it be correctable to 20/20 or close to that, and may not allow extreme near sightedness even if correctible with glasses. Some require red/green color vision. I don't recall ever seeing a mention of depth perception, although missing an eye may be an issue, and there are some specific surgeries listed. Many things can be worked with if a doctor signs off on the persons ability to perform the job.

    It depends on how well you are able to compensate, if you can catch and throw a ball, and are allowed to drive it may not be an issue at all. If you have to follow a very specific process to perform tasks involving depth perception it might be.


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