1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Medical DQ due to asthma.

    I've been going through the process for a large county department and just received medical clearance, but my friend who was also in the process just got DQ'd because he takes a daily medication for his asthma. He said they may give him a chance to retake the medical exam after having gone off of his medication for four weeks. He's also going to see a new specialist, aside from his normal one, to have his asthma assessed. He doesn't feel that he even needs to be on the medication anymore but takes it because his doctor said to. He's been through a college fire academy and has worked as a volunteer firefighter without encountering any breathing problems.

    Does anyone had any experience with this sort of thing or any advice I can relay to him? The process for this department has taken nearly two years. Although I'm happy to have passed, it's tough watching my buddy who's worked his butt off to make it this far and receive bad news at the very last stage.

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2008


    I don't know anyone personally having this problem but answer me this.

    Did he ever divulge this information to his volly department? If so, what did they say?

    Usually colleges won't DQ you from attending fire academy as long as you have health insurance and a basic medical clearance to assume no liability.

    You have to remember that this field is very physically demanding, expects a lot of stamina and exertion. Asthma has many factors that can trigger it. My cousin for example, looks strong as an ox, standing 6'4 230 pounds, but has nearly died from dust particles triggering it a few times.

    Now imagine having asthma going into a burning building with SCBA on. Your buddy goes down, or your low pressure alarm goes off and you become disoriented, or you come out of a building, take off your mask and inhale smoke from a sudden wind change. These are the things that departments look at. Its not to discriminate or because they don't think you would be a great firefighter.

    I would tell him to keep going and never quit trying even if it means that department in the end doesn't hire him. There are strict medical requirements for this job and unfortunately, some of us will fall into the high risk category due to pre-existing conditions.

    I live in Florida and I have not seen anything about DQ because of Asthma but I am guessing it could be a state-to-state thing. Look up your state fire marshal website or call your fire college and get a copy of the physical form that departments go by for their annual physicals. Sometimes it shows on there conditions the physician has to look for.

    Tell your buddy to keep his head up high and don't give up.
    Last edited by firemedic80; 11-11-2008 at 01:18 AM.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Thanks, firemedic80. I'll pass this along. I'm not sure what the scoop on disclosure to his volunteer department was.
    Last edited by SansMustache; 11-12-2008 at 01:20 PM.

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