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    Thumbs down Physicals being required on apparatus awards?

    Wondering if I'm the only one. After my award for a pumper was POSTED for 2009 I got email from AFG stating a physical was REQUIRED for each driver prior to recieving funds. I've gotten trucks before but have never been told this was required. The email stated the charge for each physical should be approx. $700 each--this is terrible--most departments can't afford this.

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    I was told that sometimes your own emts can do a baseline physical that is sufficient. Now this was for our sfm instructor led driver operator 1002 as told to me by our regional sfm training officer.

    I have always had a problem with someone making demands like this. Unless it is done on a department level by the department itself. Having a federal requirement for a physical done by a doctor is bordering being unreasonable when it is involved in this type of application. Requiring too much. Let FEMA set up the physcials then and pay for it if they want it so bad.

    I have heard others say that the candidate can charge it to his insurance, well that is not proper conduct either. It is also unfair to have the insurance company pay for an elective physical that is not required for employment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzz150 View Post
    Wondering if I'm the only one. After my award for a pumper was POSTED for 2009 I got email from AFG stating a physical was REQUIRED for each driver prior to recieving funds. I've gotten trucks before but have never been told this was required. The email stated the charge for each physical should be approx. $700 each--this is terrible--most departments can't afford this.
    Thre was a thread a year ago or so on this. The problem was the physical was much more extensive than the DOT physical for class A/B drivers which most of our drivers have taken. Go figure.

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    Its part of the economic stimulous package. Force us to spend more money to help small busniess hurting for money. How else can the doctors afford the payments on their BMW's. Its our duty to help.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Default Really guys?

    I'm no government lover but c'mon now. When you get stuff for free from someone else you have to play by their rules. I know that when you applied you read over the entire PG and all of the little help menus on the application. I know you also kept an eye on the frequently asked questions portion of the AFG web page.

    Knowing that I did the same thing how could you not have read at least 4 separate times that part of a comprehensive driver training program was NFPA compliant physicals?

    Is the rule right I don't think so either, I think there are smart alternatives to the NFPA guidelines, BUT I do know what the rules say and did know at the time of application what our obligations would be if awarded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lfdmichael View Post
    I'm no government lover but c'mon now. When you get stuff for free from someone else you have to play by their rules. I know that when you applied you read over the entire PG and all of the little help menus on the application. I know you also kept an eye on the frequently asked questions portion of the AFG web page.

    Knowing that I did the same thing how could you not have read at least 4 separate times that part of a comprehensive driver training program was NFPA compliant physicals?

    Is the rule right I don't think so either, I think there are smart alternatives to the NFPA guidelines, BUT I do know what the rules say and did know at the time of application what our obligations would be if awarded.
    Can we get an amen brother!!!

    It very clearly states in the Program guidance that if you are awarded you WILL have to do driver training and physicals.
    A Dot physical will run $250.00-300.00 depending on where you have it done.
    If you don't want to follow the rules to free money , just say NO and the money will go to someone willing to play by the rules. Whats the big deal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Can we get an amen brother!!!

    It very clearly states in the Program guidance that if you are awarded you WILL have to do driver training and physicals.
    A Dot physical will run $250.00-300.00 depending on where you have it done.
    If you don't want to follow the rules to free money , just say NO and the money will go to someone willing to play by the rules. Whats the big deal?
    I was under the impression that it was not just a DOT physical which would make sense, but much more. I guess I'm wrong. You are right, it is their football and their game and we know the rules, or should, when we play but it does not mean it is right. This, after all is our tax money which they use to fund the game.

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    I guess the biggest point - it was CLEARLY stated in the program guidance, the "bible" that you (should) read before applying that this was required, and even that the funds could be applied for in the grant to achieve the physicals.

    You are blaming FEMA because you did not read the program guidance before you applied?

    Personally, If I screwed up like that, I would ask FEMA if I could save some money on the vehicle could I use those funds to pay for the physicals, and training? Drop a bell or whistle from the vehicle.

    Use an EMT for the baseline physical? I don't think you are going to see much advantage, the physical is much more geared to testing that is going to have to take place in a medical facility. NFPA 1582 can be viewed online at

    http://www.nfpa.org/aboutthecodes/Ab...sp?DocNum=1582

    1583, 1500, etc all applicable can be found there also. You will need to set up a free
    account to do so.

    You also need to comply also with NFPA 1002.

    Personally, I think it was wrong that you were even granted if you did not state you would comply. I expect this will be a big item during audits.

    But you might even end up saving the life of one of your firefighters because of the physicals.

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    One of our clients did the physicals as part of their truck award and found 2 that were less than a month from a heart attack at 80+ percent blockage in arteries, and one that had the beginnings of cancer.

    When you're putting people behind the wheel of a hunk of iron you need to know that they're physically capable of operating the truck. I haven't done one in 3 years because 1) I'm lazy, 2) insurance wouldn't kick in for anything and didn't have the spare dough. Scheduling one for next month and going to keep it up every year. Granted it's the baseline physical in between DOT and NFPA but beats nothing.

    Find a local doctor that will run a good rate for the department as a thanks for bringing the community's income tax payments back by getting the grant. Hit the papers with it and won't take long to get someone to do it.

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    For my department the words saying for each driver might as well say for all member. Can we add the entire department in the vehicle grant request somewhere being all are drivers?

    Where on the grant pagers do you ask for physical for all money as part of the award?

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    Additional Funding Request, on trucks would be the link under the one for entering Vehicle Inventory. List amount and box down the bottom explain what it's for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penman View Post
    I was under the impression that it was not just a DOT physical which would make sense, but much more. I guess I'm wrong. You are right, it is their football and their game and we know the rules, or should, when we play but it does not mean it is right. This, after all is our tax money which they use to fund the game.
    I suspect the physical demands of a fire engine responding to a structure fire are different than the physical demands of a truck driver trying to make his delivery time. Not to belittle or undermine the job of a truck driver - it is just different.

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    Default Jealous

    While I appreciate the seriousness of this thread - I am soooooooooooooooo sorry and insanely jealous you have the problem of getting your FF's physicals to qualify for your 2nd fire engine grant award. Please share your secret with the rest of us. You deserve a lot of credit for your outstanding success.

    ps - We figure here we have saved at least three FF's lives with our mandatory physical program when serious cardiac issues were discovered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LVFD301 View Post
    I suspect the physical demands of a fire engine responding to a structure fire are different than the physical demands of a truck driver trying to make his delivery time. Not to belittle or undermine the job of a truck driver - it is just different.
    Best not to open that can of worms. Again most depts. today are hurting for money, just getting the 5% for the grants is always a problem. You could ask for additional funding but then you will face computer cuts or $$/resident population. Challenges all.
    Last edited by penman; 05-11-2010 at 11:25 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penman View Post
    Best not to open that can of worms. Again most depts. today are hurting for money, just getting the 5% for the grants are always a problem. You could ask for additional funding but then you will face computer cuts or $$/resident population. Challenges all.
    Absolutely. Don't get me wrong - it does not make it easy, just something we have be aware of and plan for.

    Not many departments out there in the US have less money than departments around here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by penman View Post
    Best not to open that can of worms. Again most depts. today are hurting for money, just getting the 5% for the grants are always a problem. You could ask for additional funding but then you will face computer cuts or $$/resident population. Challenges all.
    Additional funding is not considered initially for those calculations. Additional funding requests are done after the merits of the main focus of the application, we've never had physicals pulled by Review on truck apps when asked for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Additional funding is not considered initially for those calculations. Additional funding requests are done after the merits of the main focus of the application, we've never had physicals pulled by Review on truck apps when asked for.
    Many thanks for the clarification BC.

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    Problem is that with FG you're "supposed" to be keeping their nonsense up long term. Or at least during the review period (3yr). That nice new pumper may be great now. Not so great when you add in the "required" annual physicals @ $800ea for 20FF for 4years. Thats $16000/yr boys. And a DOT does not meet the "requirement".

    The rural FD, operating on $10 or 20 or $50000/yr who desperately needs to replace old Bessy is NOT going to be able to come up with the cash. You can believe in the toothfairy too but not real. If we had $16000/yr excess laying we would be pleased to purchase physicals. Or perhaps just order a pumper without "help" from Uncle. Idiotic.

    Physicals are maintenance. Same as an oil change. Not something insureable. Kid yourself if you like, but bill a physical to a medical insurance co and you just pay for it + their 75% inefficiency markup. And you wonder why our medical payment system is screwed up.

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    We just had a company come in and do all of our department physicals including; Sight, BP, EKG, TB shoots, lungs and a once over by the Doctor, Mask fit test yet to be done. This is yearly for us and I thought this was the physical they were talking about in the PG. Am I right or wrong?
    Last edited by rjcont; 05-11-2010 at 01:47 PM.

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    If you go to the link that LVFD posted above, you can read nfpa 1582.

    We looked through it very carefully and had our Paramedic/ Physicians Assistant read through it. The nfpa version is more intense than an FAA flight physical for pilots which he does regularly in his employment at a large medical center.
    I don't know anyone that is doing the full requirements of 1582 on an annual basis, volunteer or paid.

    A Dot physical with fit test and respiratory function test seems to meet the intent of providing health screenings to operators that might be at risk due to underlying health issues.

    Do not take my interpretation as gospel according to AFG.

    We had our request for funding of physicals removed from our SAFER grant award last year and did not understand why it was cut.
    The AFG folks are enforcing this for our own benefit, the primary goal of the program is to improve firefighter safety.

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    I agree the DOT physical with a fit test should be the way to go. Unfortunately this is just another case of an unfunded mandate which the Feds and state governments love to pass down to cities and towns. Who would argue against physicals for all; we can just cut the school budget, more mandates, or the roads and bridges, oops we've been doing that for years already. At one time it was mostly the small rural towns that had budget problems but our big cities are suffering with us. Let's mandate F1/F2, it's a great idea, safer for our firefighters and I'm sure that will help us get more volunteers. SURE!

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    I know i can view 1582 online, but does anyone have a copy they would share on PDF? Also 1002 if available. PM me for e-mail address.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fireinfo10 View Post
    Problem is that with FG you're "supposed" to be keeping their nonsense up long term. Or at least during the review period (3yr). That nice new pumper may be great now. Not so great when you add in the "required" annual physicals @ $800ea for 20FF for 4years. Thats $16000/yr boys. And a DOT does not meet the "requirement".

    The rural FD, operating on $10 or 20 or $50000/yr who desperately needs to replace old Bessy is NOT going to be able to come up with the cash. You can believe in the toothfairy too but not real. If we had $16000/yr excess laying we would be pleased to purchase physicals. Or perhaps just order a pumper without "help" from Uncle. Idiotic.

    Physicals are maintenance. Same as an oil change. Not something insureable. Kid yourself if you like, but bill a physical to a medical insurance co and you just pay for it + their 75% inefficiency markup. And you wonder why our medical payment system is screwed up.
    Can I just Ditto this post by fireinfo? Everytime I begin to expand on these unreasonable flood of codes and regulations, it turns into one of my rants. Just like the government controlling our access to a healthy lifestyle, pretty soon the hospitals are gonna be filled with people dying of nothin'. think about it.

    As with the discussions about the costs of apparatus now. Just when is a new apparatus's safety features going to exceed its realistic affordability?

    more to follow,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    If you go to the link that LVFD posted above, you can read nfpa 1582.

    We looked through it very carefully and had our Paramedic/ Physicians Assistant read through it. The nfpa version is more intense than an FAA flight physical for pilots which he does regularly in his employment at a large medical center.
    I don't know anyone that is doing the full requirements of 1582 on an annual basis, volunteer or paid.

    A Dot physical with fit test and respiratory function test seems to meet the intent of providing health screenings to operators that might be at risk due to underlying health issues.

    Do not take my interpretation as gospel according to AFG.

    We had our request for funding of physicals removed from our SAFER grant award last year and did not understand why it was cut.
    The AFG folks are enforcing this for our own benefit, the primary goal of the program is to improve firefighter safety.
    See!! SAFER removed it. It is sooo important within the vehicle award, but it turns out it isn't even important enough for a related agency down the hall to pay for it.

    These demands of compliancy and the related costs are quickly catching up to the costs of the equipment. When these demands by our government and the ever increasing entitlements being demanded by the public can only end in one place. The same place Greece is now. We will get there unless someone finally says, let the departments save some of their funding for other purposes like salaries or insurance. Rushing around to pay for physicals that are more demanding than for commercial pilots will end up costing more civilian lives in the end. I know AFG is for firefighter safety, but at some point someone is going to say, "Why is a firefighters life more important than everyone elses?"

    That arguement is already beginning. Anyone read the first editorial by Timothy Sendelbach's in Fire Rescue magazine? He is referring to the conflicts brewing between departments and local governments. Throw in the fact that some citizens are actually spitting on firefighters. Spitting. This breaks down to how much more funding is required to pay for all that is demanded of our departments by our code setters and from our citizens who provide that funding. Not to mention pensions and other benefits that were set and now being renegotiated because the cities are broke and joe everybody doesn't want to pay more. Can't pay more.

    So to lessen this strain, these demands from AFG, NFPA, OSHA and USFA for physicals and other items need to be,,,, uniforced,,,, optional,,,,eliminated. And soon before nothing can be enforced or supported. The nation is at a breaking point right now and there had better be some sanity and logic thrown in here and right now.

    Physicals. I can remember when driver operator was done without having a check box signed by a doctor and an $800 bill along with it for each attendee.

    (ranted again Ed and Blake)

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    Yeah but then someone got hit by a fire truck and a bunch of lawyers got on the citizen's side and ripped apart whoever was driving, sued, and won. Just like everything else the lawsuits drive the codes so that blame can be shifted around for anything that happens. How NFPA 1002 got to be so freaking stringent I have no idea, but like anything else paperwork related no one wants to get involved before something gets put in stone, only afterwards. Just like all these safety features in apparatus, sure some are real nice, but at some point things are getting a little ridiculous. Like striping gone wild...

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