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Diabetics as Firefighters

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  • firemedic19077
    replied
    I work with two diabetics, one on a insulin pump and the other w/ injections. Neither seems to have a problem. It sounds like you need to know your limits and try to stay within them.

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  • rdflash31014
    replied
    Thanks for all the great advice and info. I was asking for my buddy who has been a volunteer for a while and has just gotten hired on fulltime. He is a hard worker and I am sure he will be a great asset to our force. I am passing all these comment to him and he really appreciates your encouragement. Thanks.

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  • Tigger911
    replied
    Mike,
    I'm an insulin dependant diabetic and have been for over three years now. The main things to remember are:
    1) Take care of yourself and exercise. You will better learn your limits and stretch them out at the same time.
    2) Keep everyone informed as to your condition. My engine Lt. and Battion Chief are kept up on my diabetes. The other crews in the city know about my condition and they know where I keep my "goodies" on the engine. They also ask mean if I "need a Snickers" when I'm working.
    3) I also think it's against the American with Disabilities Act. since your are able to preform the functions. But, like EC116 said, it's not a crutch.

    James

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  • EC116
    replied
    I'm diabetic too and I've had no problems getting on a fire department because of it. As long as you take care of yourself and know when enough is enough, you shouldn't have any problems either.

    I don't think a department could really exclude you from thier hiring process for that either. You can still do all the physical stuff that is required for the job, and probably are healthier then half the guys on the department because you have to watch your diet and exercise. Don't use it as a crutch....

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  • truck197
    replied
    Mike,
    I am assuming that you are diabetic and want to be a firefighter, if that is not the case hopeful what I have to say will still be of some use...
    It is possible to be a diabetic and a firefighter. I am one of 2 type 1 diabetics on my department. There are added concerns for us on the fire ground. We have to be aware of what our bodies are telling us and be able to quickly make the situation better. This is a physically demanding job, and a diabetic’s body does not react to physical exertion like everyone else’s. I would recommend a few things. Be in good shape. This is a need for every firefighter, but the more a diabetic exercises the better he or she is at dealing with, and recognizing the complications. Second, look into the insulin pump. I use one and have had better control in addition to recognizing both highs and lows more quickly. Be honest with those who you work with. Don’t try to hide anything about your condition, because if you are not honest you will more than likely become a liability on the fire ground.
    The first time I caught a really hot one I was on the first engine in, working backup on the initial line. My diabetes played a factor in my performance. I waited to long to tell my captain that I needed a break. I was both overheated and had low bloodsugar. It was a learning experience, and it made me realize what I needed to change. You are doing the right thing by taking advantage of this resource and asking questions.
    Jeff
    Never Stop Learning

    [ 10-19-2001: Message edited by: truck197 ]

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  • dr inferno
    replied
    Maybe its only in Canada Medic. I know of at least three guys who are insulin dependant firefighters and they have had no trouble at all.

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  • Canadian Firemedic
    replied
    Yes. I have worked with an insulin dependant diabetic for 3 years and never seen him run into a problem. His team members are aware and he is vigilant in monitoring his own condition. He's one heck of a firefighter.

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  • rdflash31014
    started a topic Diabetics as Firefighters

    Diabetics as Firefighters

    Can insulin dependent diabetics be hired as firefighters if they are healthy and pass a routine physical with no problems other than being a diabetic?

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