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  • Possibly have to retire after only 11 years...

    I wanted to get some of your opinions on this serious matter I am facing at this time. Back in May I was diagnosed with an unusually thick heart. Before I could get all the testing done associated with this I ended up having to go into the emergency room. They ended up implanting an ICD device in me, and found that I have a rare disease called Sarcoid in my heart. I have really been trying to get back on the fire department, but I was told by the city that until I get the ok from a Dr. to resume full active duty they did not want me to come back. Everything looked good until last Wednesday, when the Dr. called me and said that according to the NFPA people having an ICD should not resume firefighting duties. As she stated however this is just a guideline, but I can't imagine our city not following it. I would just like to find out if there are any departments out there that have somebody with an ICD or Pacemaker implanted, and what kind of testing these people are put through? I would also like to know if any departments have anybody with the disease Sarcoidosis on, what has their experience been with this rare disease? Right now it looks like I'll have to hang up my helmet after only 11 years on the department this is really disappointing. Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

    John Benik
    Thank You

    John Benik

  • #2
    John,

    Fist let me say haow sorry I am you find yourself in ill health.

    I have no advise for you on a personal level but I have heard stories about FF/police coming back to work with prostetic limbs, bypass surgery, and other potential career enders. I would do a search on these kind of articles and try to contact some of these folks.

    Comment


    • #3
      I saw an episode of COPS where an officer with a prosthetic leg was still on the job, and in the episode chased down a fleeing suspect who had two perfectly good legs and about 30 pounds less weight on his frame. There has to be something you can still do for the department!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        John,

        shoot me an email email

        I have been through some similar..not quite the same stuff.

        ADA has a lot of play in this kind of stuff.

        Dave

        Comment


        • #5
          You may not be able to return to full fire duty but your job is secure under the ADA. You are entitled to a Reasonable Accommodation by law. So, unless you don't want to, you can remain with the FD.

          Here's a link to get you started:

          http://www.eeoc.gov/docs/accommodation.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Just posting to say Good Luck and God Bless. The guidance that E229lt and Hfd66truck have provided is right on target. Perhaps someone else will read this that can also help.
            09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
            ------------------------------
            IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
            "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
            BMI Investigator
            ------------------------------
            The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have no good advice to offer besides wishing you good luck and a speedy recovery................. I hope Dave and E229lt can get you going in the right direction. GOOD LUCK !
              IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
              Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
              ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
              RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
              LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
              I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
              "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
              http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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              • #8
                Thank you all for your help I will definitely look into what can be done. I just heard from the chief and he said that unfortunately I can't come back. I do however wonder what will be said after I look into this a little further. I do not know if the law is any different for a volunteer department, but it certainly should not be since we are considered to be city employees.
                Thank You

                John Benik

                Comment


                • #9
                  Even if you can't assume firefighting duties, I'm sure with your time in you've learned a thing or two that you could pass on as in instructor, or investigator, or inspector. I'm sure there's plenty more you can do.
                  Good luck in any case.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can't offer advice better than what you have received but Dave and E229 gave you some great advice. The course I just finished covered the ADA (among other things). I will check my notes to see if I have any other links I can send you.

                    I wish you all the best that you can continue to pursue your career as a firefighter. Please take care.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am hanging it up, but still may be fighting.

                      The fire department has allowed me to complete my 12 years of
                      service. Unfortunately there is the NFPA 1582 document, that
                      covers internal defibrillators, and I cannot get approved to
                      return to full active firefighting. Although I feel fine, the
                      doctors will not give me approval. I am continuing too do some
                      more checking, with the EEOC etc., but unless a doctor signs off on
                      a majority of the firefighting duties I will not be able to return.
                      Thanks for all your help stay safe, and I'll keep you posted if I am
                      ever able to return.

                      Sincerely

                      John Benik
                      Thank You

                      John Benik

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would like to express my sadness at hearing of your illness. I to am in a similar situation with a less serius injury and less time in service. There has to be some other fire related job other than running into burning buildings and other things like that. It seems like investigative work should be allowable since it is not extremely stressfull and is a lot easier on the body. I wish you the best of luck.

                        Comment

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