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  • Firefighters refuse fitness test

    {I don't know how old this article is, so DONT SHOOT THE MESSENGER!}

    Firefighters Say Fitness Test Is Too Dangerous
    Eleven civilian firefighters refused to participate in a timed walk-through familiarization of the Fire Fighters Fitness Test, claiming that the time limit made the test dangerous to their health. A health and safety officer investigated and found that the test wasn't dangerous. One of the firefighters appealed. The appeals officer concluded that the test did present a danger because it was physically demanding and there was a risk that firefighters who weren't in top physical condition could get hurt while taking it. The officer ordered the employer to require firefighters to undergo fitness training before taking the test [Munn and Canada (Department of National Defence, [2005] C.L.C.A.O.D. No. 30, July 7, 2005].


    Although, I guess if I had read the fine print... July 2005. Here is another one:

    Firefighter's Refusal to Take Fitness Test Is Justified
    The Department of National Defense (DND) required all its firefighters to take a physically demanding fitness test once a year. A firefighter asked the DND to monitor his heart rate during the test in case he suffered a heart attack. The DND said no and the firefighter refused to take the test. The safety officer found no danger. The firefighter appealed. The Appeals Officer voided the safety officer's decision. Firefighters who took the test were at risk of sudden cardiac arrest, the Appeals Officer said. Although the DND had ambulance attendants trained in CPR ready to deal with an emergency, a heart monitor was necessary to prevent an emergency in the first place [Gauthier and Canada (Dept. of Nat. Defense), [2005] C.L.C.A.O.D. No. 16, March 30, 2005].
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 08-31-2010, 02:55 PM.
    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.

  • #2
    So what was the test they were supposed to take? Got any more information?
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    • #3
      When we take our max cardiac stress test, we are placed on a 12 lead and are monitored by a cardiac nurse. Would it have been to much to ask for the "timed walk" to be performed on a thread mill with one of the on scene medics monitoring the fire fighters?

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      • #4
        The story appears to be Canadian, and so is this Firefighter Fitness Test. Whether they are one in the same I can't say.
        Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

        Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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        • #5
          I don't know anything about this story, but I know of one career department where all personnel were required to take the CPAT once per year. There was no time limit, they just had to show they could make it through the whole thing. There were no punitive actions if you couldn't pass it either. There were always (and probably still are) two or three firefighters who would show up before the test every year with a note from their doctor saying they couldn't take it. Usually due to reasons like bad backs, high blood pressure, etc. Even their fellow union members would roll their eyes and smirk when this happened, questioning why they were still being allowed to work if they weren't even fit enough to go through the CPAT, which in this department were all tasks that they might be asked to perform at any structure fire.

          I don't have an answer either. It's just one of many challenges departments face in implementing mandatory fitness programs.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tree68 View Post
            The story appears to be Canadian, and so is this Firefighter Fitness Test. Whether they are one in the same I can't say.
            The Canadian Forces military firefighters have their own PT test. I think the civilian guys do the same one but I'm not 100% on that.
            If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

            Ryan

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            • #7
              I dont know any more than what I posted. Those stories were links in the CF/DND Safety website. There were multiple articles that were from all over North America. Some where briefs on OSHA infractions and fines, others were as above. Unfortunately when I read/posted them, that was the first I had heard of those issues.

              To my knowledge, DND (civilian) and CF firefighters have to meet the same phyical standards, which include a requirement to achieve "Exempt" on the Canadian Forces Expres Test. Test includes a timed 20 metre shuttle run, specified number of sit ups, pushup and a grip test, all according to age. They also do the CPAT or something that is very close anyhow - having never actually seen them conduct it, but I know they have all the equipment for it.
              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.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am a firm believer in annual fit testing. We work in environments where at any second we might have to perform extreme physical acts to save ourselves, a fellow brother, or a victim. If this job was so easy, anyone could do it. We push our boys to extremes every day we hit the proving grounds.

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                • #9
                  Yep, I totally agree with Alex.
                  Well said.
                  public relations NJ

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