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  • Physical Fitnesss Requirements

    I hope I can find the information I need. Is there any physical requirements that concern a persons weight. All I have been able to find is that as long as a person is considered by a physician to be healthy enough to engage in firefighting activities they are cleared. Not to be misunderstood, I know that the less fat one has the better, but is there a cut off as far as the Body Mass Index (BMI) is concerned? I have looked in OSHA and NFPA and can not find anything relating to the BMI.

    Here is the problem, all of the sudden there is a push to get rid of the overweight firefighters. After years of passing the annual physical and performing firefighting activities, the powers that be, suddenly feel that overweight firefighters need to go. They say that there are standards that need to be meet. Never mind that there has been no true physical fitness program adopted. Gym time is afforded and as a part of the daily schedule all firefighters have to go to the gym. However, there is nothing that states that firefighters need to follow a certain program. Nor is there anything said of some firefighters who do nothing at all.

    For instance, recently during a drill a firefighter began to suffer from heat exhaustion. He was sent to the hospital to be checked out. During the tests that he was given by doctors it was discovered he has asthma. Now it is being said that he no longer can be employed as a firefighter. He has not been back to work since. The drill was conducted in a homemade so called confined space trainer, on one of the hottest and most humid days of the year. I myself, and I am not saying I am in the best shape I can be, was unable to completly finish the trainer the next day. The day had the same heat and humidity. The difference it seems was that I was not sent to a hospital to be checked. My BP was a bit high at the time but after some oxygen, fluids and rest I was fine.

    Sorry that this was so long. I am a bit ticked that there is no push to assist firefighters in improving their health, and just punishing you because of it. It seems that the head haunchos only pick the standards they want to follow when it suits them. And as I said I can find nothing that can serve as a guideline as long as the person is cleared by a doctor. Even a person with asthma can be cleared as long as it is treatable. I am not against a well thought out program and would encourage it to help myself as well as others to get into better shape. So any help in this area would be welcome.
    Vintage Firefighter: The older I get, the braver I was.

  • #2
    Originally posted by LtTim556
    I hope I can find the information I need. Is there any physical requirements that concern a persons weight. All I have been able to find is that as long as a person is considered by a physician to be healthy enough to engage in firefighting activities they are cleared. Not to be misunderstood, I know that the less fat one has the better, but is there a cut off as far as the Body Mass Index (BMI) is concerned? I have looked in OSHA and NFPA and can not find anything relating to the BMI.

    Here is the problem, all of the sudden there is a push to get rid of the overweight firefighters. After years of passing the annual physical and performing firefighting activities, the powers that be, suddenly feel that overweight firefighters need to go. They say that there are standards that need to be meet. Never mind that there has been no true physical fitness program adopted. Gym time is afforded and as a part of the daily schedule all firefighters have to go to the gym. However, there is nothing that states that firefighters need to follow a certain program. Nor is there anything said of some firefighters who do nothing at all.

    For instance, recently during a drill a firefighter began to suffer from heat exhaustion. He was sent to the hospital to be checked out. During the tests that he was given by doctors it was discovered he has asthma. Now it is being said that he no longer can be employed as a firefighter. He has not been back to work since. The drill was conducted in a homemade so called confined space trainer, on one of the hottest and most humid days of the year. I myself, and I am not saying I am in the best shape I can be, was unable to completly finish the trainer the next day. The day had the same heat and humidity. The difference it seems was that I was not sent to a hospital to be checked. My BP was a bit high at the time but after some oxygen, fluids and rest I was fine.

    Sorry that this was so long. I am a bit ticked that there is no push to assist firefighters in improving their health, and just punishing you because of it. It seems that the head haunchos only pick the standards they want to follow when it suits them. And as I said I can find nothing that can serve as a guideline as long as the person is cleared by a doctor. Even a person with asthma can be cleared as long as it is treatable. I am not against a well thought out program and would encourage it to help myself as well as others to get into better shape. So any help in this area would be welcome.

    Has your union looked into the resources provided by the IAFF.

    Also if this brother developed asthma on the job...that should be a disability retirement no? Do you not have lung presumption bills in your state? In my job...if you have asthma you are automaticly granted a 3/4 disability pension. If you have asthma, you shouldn't be a fireman.

    The next step involves the men doing the right thing after a job and showing their displeasure with the dopes in charge...but one should look to use the info from the IAFF first and see if things can be amicably worked out face to face.

    Best of Luck.

    FTM-PTB

    Comment


    • #3
      I am curious how the powers are trying to get rid of the overweight firefighters? Are there jobs being threatened if they dont meet
      the "standards". What are the standards that are in place for this issue in your department? You aint going to find standards on this by nfpa or osha because there are none.

      If you are a career dept the union needs to step up and deal with this. IAFF has peer fitness programs in place and also nutrition and workout information on the web. A BMI policy sounds ridiculious. What would the cops do, stop eating doughnuts?

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies. Have talked to another Chief and he said the same. While I do support begining a fitness program and improving myself as well as some others, I don't agree with what is being done. As we all know, heart attacks are the number one killers of firefighters, and out of shape firefighters is mainly the problem. The powers that be are stating there is something that is in the standards about BMI. But they have not said which standard it is. The only thing I have seen about it is during an annual fitness evaluation. From what I see it is to be used to let you know where you are and how much progress you are making. Their thing is if you cann't get through the trainer with one bottle you are not fit to be a firefighter, and therefore need to go, or they will find a reason. Next time it is planned to have the Health Nurse there to take blood pressures as you come out of the trainer. The union is working on this and I was sending a question out there to see if there was something I was missing. This thing is not over and it is my intent to get them to set up a program and not to witch hunt. I always thought we were here to help others including ourselves.
        Vintage Firefighter: The older I get, the braver I was.

        Comment


        • #5
          Well an update on this problem. First the one firefighter got clearence from his doctor to return and will be back on the job. As far at the other cooler heads have prevailed and we are now working together to make improvements in firefighters fitness. Hope to have something soon that will make everyone happy and improve overall performance and health of the firefighters.
          Vintage Firefighter: The older I get, the braver I was.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by FFFRED View Post
            Has your union looked into the resources provided by the IAFF.

            Also if this brother developed asthma on the job...that should be a disability retirement no? Do you not have lung presumption bills in your state? In my job...if you have asthma you are automaticly granted a 3/4 disability pension. If you have asthma, you shouldn't be a fireman.

            The next step involves the men doing the right thing after a job and showing their displeasure with the dopes in charge...but one should look to use the info from the IAFF first and see if things can be amicably worked out face to face.

            Best of Luck.

            FTM-PTB

            Who are you to say that if someone has asthma that you shouldnt be a fireman? I know a lot of people that have it and are some of the best fireman I know.

            You mean to tell me that out of the approx 12,000 fireman in the City of New York that there isnt one person that has it?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by VladAmok View Post
              Who are you to say that if someone has asthma that you shouldnt be a fireman? I know a lot of people that have it and are some of the best fireman I know.

              You mean to tell me that out of the approx 12,000 fireman in the City of New York that there isnt one person that has it?
              The city requires each firefighter takes an annual medical that include the methyl choline challenge, breathing test. So, no... there are no NYC firefighters with asthma that are working in the field.
              Michael Stefano
              Author of The Firefighter's Workout Book
              www.firefightersworkout.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by VladAmok View Post
                Who are you to say that if someone has asthma that you shouldnt be a fireman? I know a lot of people that have it and are some of the best fireman I know.
                FWIW, many departments are using the NFPA 1582 standard for guidance about health and medical conditions for firefighters. Under that standard, asthma is listed as a potential disqualifier for hiring.

                While I don't doubt that there are firefighters out there who have mild asthma, you will see fewer and fewer of them hired. What happens to the ones already on the job if their conditions worsen is up for grabs.
                "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"
                sigpic
                The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi

                  "I have found a great site that sells downloadable "Health and Fitness" audio books by some of the leading Authors in the field. I have recently discovered the benefits of listening to Audio books as I have a 2 hour drive to get to work each day!.

                  You can also get a 10% discount off your first purchase by using this special code when you check out - 322944.

                  Also, if you own a website you can become an affiliate and promote Audio Books that are relevant to your site and get 15% commission on every sale.

                  Here is the link directly to their http://www.listen-here.com/list.aspx?catID=144 category

                  Hope you find the site as useful as I have, if so post back your comments.

                  Cheers

                  Ray21

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Strength Endurance Training Invitation by Mike Stefano

                    My name I Mike Stefano, I'm the author of the Firefighter's Workout Book and the fitness editor here at Firehouse.Com.

                    Firefighting is about endurance, but with strength. Most Americans, including firefighters, are not going about their training in the best way. That's the big problem with lack of motivation and people staying with programs. Nobody is being told how to prepare for what's now finally perceived as an extreme physical event - firefighting.

                    We need to be able to operate for a good 20 minutes at a clip, and possibly 30 minutes or more - all while under load. Bench pressing and running long distances is not enough.

                    Over the last few years and since my first book was published. I've developed some innovative training protocols that directly address our issues, I urge you guys, and anybody interested in really doing something about this situation, to check out my website and embrace a new way to train. If your departments won't do anything to help, it's up you, the individual, like it or not, to take control.

                    I've written a few articles recently (posted in the health and fitness section) and invite you all to open your minds to some new ideas about firefighter fitness and performance.

                    Firehouse.Com Health and Fitness Section:
                    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/sec...p?sectionId=11
                    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=11&id=54459
                    http://cms.firehouse.com/content/art...Id=11&id=53924


                    Be well.
                    Michael Stefano
                    Author of The Firefighter's Workout Book
                    www.firefightersworkout.com

                    Comment

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