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Joe, like me, is past the 50-year mark. Joe and I have spent our 25-year careers going to fires. I do not want to say that we are worn out, but if we were fire trucks, we would surely be candidates for a refurb job. And remember, when Joe is completely recovered from his open-heart surgery, he still has to face the gall bladder surgery. Funny thing, though - Joe seems pleased as punch to be around for the gall bladder operation.
The important moral of this story is that you should have a periodic physical examination. Remember, Joe and I are pre-OSHA. The last actual physicals that we got at work (except when buildings were falling on us, or we were getting hit by fire trucks, or burned) were our pre-employment physicals in 1973.
Here is where the new OSHA laws will be of great assistance. Fire departments which have been a bit lax in the realm of employee health and fitness will get off the dime and do the right thing by their personnel.
As for my brother and I, we have both been to our family doctors since Joe's travail, and there is a series of test for us to undergo.
We are making progress. But I don't want you to expect me to be 100 pounds thinner the next time you see me. Some things are healthy. Others are miracles. But do not let your health be a candidate for luck, rather than prudence.
Dr. Harry R. Carter, a Firehouse® contributing editor, is a battalion commander with the Newark, NJ, Fire Department. He is also a past chief and active life member of the Adelphia, NJ, Fire Company. Dr. Carter is an Associate of the Institution of Fire Engineers of Great Britain (AIFireE).