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Does anyone know of a firefighter that has a stutter?

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  • Does anyone know of a firefighter that has a stutter?

    Ive always wanted to be a firefighter and this past month I have finally started to get the ball rolling and was able to set up a gameplan last night with a local fire chief that was so incredibly helpful and nice. He mentioned he didnt know if they would let me in because I have a severe stutter, he told me to look into "NFPA 1001" and check with the ADA. The only thing I can find from ADA is that a potential firefighter once sued the state of Ohio after he failed his oral interview due to his stutter. Supposedly he won the case but was not able to use that to be a firefighter as there was no proof that was the reason he failed his oral interview. I desperatley would love to be a firefighter, but from what I understand there is little to no chance I could become one due to my stutter which is worse in interviews because Im nervous. However in the most stressful of situations it seems to get better. Sorry for such a long post, Ive been browsing the forums for the past few weeks and its all been so helpful, but I was just hoping if any of you had met a firefighter who had a stutter or even knew if it was allowable. Basically every job I would love I cant do because of my stutter so I was hoping this wouldnt be another one, but if it was I would fully understand as persons lives would depend on me. thank you for the time to read this and respond.


  • #2
    I guess I have to take it as a no. Thank you to all who took the time to read my topic, even the idea of people making an attempt to help is very appreciated.


    • #3
      I know a firefighter and a sheriff deputy who both have a pretty severe stutter. It doesn't prevent them from performing their duties in any way.


      • #4


        Dont ever let anyone tell you you cant do something because of a stutter. Just give it your all and try. Take tests all over and if you pass the written you will get a shot in the oral. Practice the oral and pre-emp the board by using the stutter to your advatage. Tell them you have a stutter and you what you have been though because of it and the man it has made you today.
        Try thats all you can do!! If you dont try you will regret it for the rest of your life.

        And Yes I know a few firefighters with a stutter and they get by.
        "Far better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with the poor timid spirits, who know neither victory nor defeat." FDR


        • #5
          There was a guy in our department who, I've been told, had a pretty difficult stutter. He retired before I came on, and I've never met him, but from what I've heard he was a fine firefighter. Not only did he get on, but was promoted to either lieutenant or captain, which of course means a lot of radio time. There are a fair share of funny stories, and he had a lot of fun with them as well, but everyone who I've heard talk about him did so with a lot of respect.

          One of the stories involved the officer in question responding to a call with his engine company and discovering that the "customer" had a stutter. The "customer" got angry and took a swing at the officer because he thought that he was being made fun of.
          The opinions expressed in this post are well-reasoned and insightful. Needless to say, they are not the opinions of the government that I work for.


          • #6
            You can be like Mel Tillis and sing your way through.

            No, on a serious note, just get back with that chief if that is in your town and see if he will do a practice interview with you. That way you will be more comfortable and know what to expect. As was said earlier all you can do is try. That way you will know for sure. Good luck.



            • #7
              One of the most respected and knowledgeable officers in my career department has a stutter. I wouldn't call it severe, but it does happen often. He doesn't let it stop him from instructing classes for both the recruits and the incumbent members of the department. In fact, once you've heard him stutter a couple of times, you don't really even notice it anymore.

              Move on with your dreams and wishes, and let us know what we can do to help...
              Last edited by BoxAlarm187; 03-29-2007, 05:52 PM. Reason: Grammar
              Career Fire Captain
              Volunteer Chief Officer

              Never taking for granted that I'm privileged enough to have the greatest job in the world!


              • #8
                Lt. Ba Ba Booker has a hard time calling for the boo- boo-boooooster. Especially when it was his truck on fire at the parking lot of fire station 10.
                cell #901-494-9437

                Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

                "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.

                Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.


                • #9
                  A very close friend of mine whom started about the time same as I did, has a pretty productive studder. It comes and goes, I've never heard him studder over the radio though. No one has ever mention it in relation to qualification.
                  "You choose to go voluntarily into the fire. The blaze might well destroy you. But if you survive, every blow of the hammer will serve to shape your being. Every drop of water wrung from you will temper and strengthen your soul." Margaret Weis

                  Paul Richardson
                  OVFD unit# 343/SLVFD unit# 610


                  • #10
                    I know more than a few guys that stutter. Some of the finest firemen you could ask for.


                    • #11
                      Jimmy, register on this site so you can get a PM (private mail) box and I'll send you some info on our department. We will be picking up around 100 employees in the next year or so. And don't be nervous at your interviews. Just keep it in the back of your mind that you already have a job and this one would be nice but not necessary. Another thing to key in on is the fact that most of the people you are sitting in front of come from different departments and are unfamiliar with the department you are applying for. So from that standpoint you are all equals. No sweat bro!


                      • #12

                        I know a wildland firefighter that has a severe stutter. He is a type 3 incident commander and a division supervisor. He was a training officer until he was bumped up the ladder to a FMO. He is one of the best instructors I have had the opportunity to learn from. He is a great asset to firefighting and to his community.

                        Please do not let people stop you from being what ever you want because you stutter. I grew up around several people that stuttered. I worked with a guy that stuttered when I was in college. I cannot remember a time when anyone's stuttering was an issue or caused a problem. Good luck.



                        • #13
                          tyler, I dont know any firefighters that have a stuttering problem but i do know you can cut down on how bad your stutter is or even get rid of it altogether. Check locally for speech lessons. When i was very young i had a bad speech impairment. I talked like people talk when they are underwater. throughout elementary school i went to speech classes and i was fixed of my impairment.

                          It does not matter your age, you can get it taken care of and never make something like that stop you from getting your career.


                          • #14
                            I have a friend who has a stuttering problem. In 1986, he was hired by the Syracuse Fire Department. He went through the academy and graduated at the top of his class of 16 recruits. Shortly after graduating, he was fired because it was said that his stuttering could put other firefighters in jeopardy if they couldn't understand him verbally during dangerous situations.

                            After a long 7 year battle, he was reinstated as a Syracuse firefighter. Under the settlement, both the County and the City paid him $5,000, and the city agreed to rehire him at a salary higher than the normal entry level firefighter salary.

                            Although he was brought back on, he is a firefighter assigned to the training division. To my knowledge, he has never been assigned to any fire apparatus during his career, and he still works out of the training division.
                            Chris Shields
                            Lieutenant / EMT
                            Haz-Mat Technician
                            East Syracuse Fire Dept
                            Onondaga County, NY


                            • #15
                              Dont know any firefighters with a stutter, but I worked with a Warrant Officer (armoured) who had one. As bad as it sounds, there was always a lot of humour to be had when he tried to make radio calls.

                              He worked in Reconnaisance Squadron, and his call sign was 44A. C/S 4 is the Squadron Commander.

                              "Fffffff ffffff Four... Tttthhhhiiii.... thiiiisssss is.....Ffffff FFfffour Ffff.... Awe %uick it! You know who I am." That came out during a Division level exercise, through the main command channel.
                              If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

                              "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

                              "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

                              Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

                              impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

                              IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.


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