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  1. #1
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    Default Blind in one eye

    I will try to keep this as short as i can. I was born with almost no vision in my left eye and it remains uncorrectable today. I am currently 23 years old and I have 20/20 vision in my right eye with 20/400 in my left. Since I have lived this way my entire life I am virtually unaffected by this issue. I can drive, play any sport, and over all function just as well as anyone else. Bottom line is I CAN DO THE JOB. I am about to finish EMT school at the top of my class and I want to attend the fire academy in the spring. I am aware of the NFPA vision requirements but I am wondering how strict they they are if I am fully capable of doing the job. Basically I want to know if there is any hope at all of me becoming a Firefighter in Florida. I have a great passion for this profession and an overwhelming desire to become a part of it. Any responses would be appreciated, you can PM me as well.

    Than You!
    Last edited by nappleto7; 10-13-2010 at 04:30 PM.


  2. #2
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    20/400? I had that in 4th grade and it worsened to 20/600 and beyond. All corrected with glasses. I had lasik and now am 20/15 in both eyes. So if you're 20/400, how is that not correctable?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  3. #3
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    I was born with a congenial cataract in my left I and unfortunately it was not detected until I was 5 and by then it was to late for corrective surgery. Because of the damage caused by the cataract Lasik surgery wouldn't help at all. Believe me I've looked into every possible way to correct my vision. I should have mentioned all this in my first post lol.

    Thank you for the response!

  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    But can glasses or contacts correct it?
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Default

    I guess it all depends on the department, what their requirements are, and how stiff the competition is to get on with that department.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

  6. #6
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    Default

    nmfire- no glasses or contacts won't correct it because of the damage done to the actual nerves in my eye, not just the lens.

    I guess it all depends on the department, what their requirements are, and how stiff the competition is to get on with that department.
    Thanks dmleblanc! that's kinda what I figured. But what I'm concerned about is actually getting into the Fire Academy here in Tampa. I have the actual application and it goes by NFPA (im pretty sure all fire academy's in FL do) which says you have to have vision correctable down to 20/40 in both eyes. I'm wondering if I fill out the form and tern it in are they going to automatically disqualify me and that's that? Or is there an opportunity for me to fight this or maybe get some kind of waiver? Ive done some research through out the forums and there are Firefighters in other states with similar conditions so I know its possible. I guess I'm just looking for advice on what i should do or what my options are??

  7. #7
    Forum Member GreenJT's Avatar
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    I am blind in my right eye from spinal menigitis when I was 13months old. I have absolutly "0" vision in my right eye. I was hired on my current mid-size department at 19. I am currently a promoted Driver/Engineer, have been a acting Lieutenant and will be starting my 10th year in April. I was accepted to the Florida State Fire College then denied after my medical. I kept with it and was accepted by Indian River State College Fire Academy and was voted Out Standing Recruit by the instructors. Stay positive and focused.
    JG
    PTB-EGH
    "Train Like Your Life Depends on It B/C It Does"
    9-11-01, 06-18-07, and all those who have given the extreme sacrifice RFB.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Go down to the Fire Academy and talk to the Coordinator. He/She will be able to give you a definitive answer and will be the best person to advise you with your situation. The best of luck to you.

  9. #9
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    It all depends on where you go. To get into Miami dade fire
    Academy you needed a full physical beforehand. Including EKG vision and hearing.

  10. #10
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    Thank you guys so much for replying! especially GreenJT, i have been checking this thread every single day hoping for a inspiring post like yours.....
    It all depends on where you go. To get into Miami dade fire
    Academy you needed a full physical beforehand. Including EKG vision and hearing.
    ...Thats how the Tampa fire academy is but i still might apply knowing i will get rejected and then maybe i can fight it some how?. I will also take ya'lls advice and apply for several academy's.

    greenjt: did you get denied at first by indian river? or did they just except you as is?

    I am also considering going to paramedic school first and then applying to the fire academy seeing as medic school is a must and it might give me an edge against the other applicants for the fire academy.

    Keep the post's coming guys it realy means a lot. Thank you

  11. #11
    Forum Member GreenJT's Avatar
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    I was/am up front and honest with being blind in my right eye. I went out of my way to bring it up, so there could not be anything said about me trying to hind it. I was denied by FSFC after my medical, however IRSC never gave me any issues. I have nothing but good things to say about IRSC Fire Academy. Go to fire school first. IRSC has a program where you will graduate with a 2yr degree in fire science and state/pro board fire certificate.
    JG
    PTB-EGH
    "Train Like Your Life Depends on It B/C It Does"
    9-11-01, 06-18-07, and all those who have given the extreme sacrifice RFB.

  12. #12
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    Default

    I have a heart condition (Right Bundle Branch Blockage) that I was initially denied into the fire academy. However, and about $600 later (thanks to crappy insurance), I got a Dr's note stating that I was "clear to perform all firefighting activities, without restriction." The most expensive piece of paper that I have ever bought. I had to show it to my current dept before they would hire me too.
    That route would certainly cost more, but its better -and transferable- than convincing a panel that you are able to do the job.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nginear View Post
    I have a heart condition (Right Bundle Branch Blockage) that I was initially denied into the fire academy. However, and about $600 later (thanks to crappy insurance), I got a Dr's note stating that I was "clear to perform all firefighting activities, without restriction." The most expensive piece of paper that I have ever bought. I had to show it to my current dept before they would hire me too.
    That route would certainly cost more, but its better -and transferable- than convincing a panel that you are able to do the job.
    Off the internet so i dont know how accurate it is but it says RBBB isn't to bad as long as its not from heart disease.
    "Incomplete bundle branch block sometimes indicates underlying heart disease. But, especially when it occurs on the right side (i.e., incomplete RBBB,) it often has no significance at all. So in general, incomplete bundle branch block should trigger a non-invasive search for underlying heart disease. If none is found, no further tests or treatment are needed. "

  14. #14
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    I was/am up front and honest with being blind in my right eye. I went out of my way to bring it up, so there could not be anything said about me trying to hind it. I was denied by FSFC after my medical, however IRSC never gave me any issues. I have nothing but good things to say about IRSC Fire Academy. Go to fire school first. IRSC has a program where you will graduate with a 2yr degree in fire science and state/pro board fire certificate.
    I have always been very upfront about my vision as well. I believe there is no point in hiding anything. I actually called IRSC and they said they would have no problem admitting me into the fire academy! so thanks for the tip. They did however tell me that it will be very difficult to get hired on by a department but i'll cross that bridge when i get there. the only problem is that I live in Tampa so id have to move if i went to IRSC.

    I have a heart condition (Right Bundle Branch Blockage) that I was initially denied into the fire academy. However, and about $600 later (thanks to crappy insurance), I got a Dr's note stating that I was "clear to perform all firefighting activities, without restriction." The most expensive piece of paper that I have ever bought. I had to show it to my current dept before they would hire me too.
    That route would certainly cost more, but its better -and transferable- than convincing a panel that you are able to do the job.
    Thats a good point i never thought about having a doctor actually clear me. That might work.....

  15. #15
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    Default colobola

    I'm tring to find any professional firefighters working with colobola or any related impaired vision (one eye). My son is tring to get hired as a professional firefighter. He's almost completed an assosiates degree in fire tech (12 hrs until completion), State Certification Firefighter I and II,Hazmat operations, vehicle extraction, nims 100 to 801, and currently a volenteer with another department

  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber BULL321's Avatar
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    I've got a buddy in a neighboring dept. He lost his right eye in an accident but is still able to rock and roll on the fire ground. Talk about one tough s.o.b. and one hell of FF. Keep your chin up and keep plugging along and you will just fine.
    Good Luck.
    Stay Safe
    Bull


    “Guys if you get hurt, we’ll help you. If you get sick we’ll treat you. If you want to bitch and moan, then all I can tell you is to flick the sand out of your slit, suck it up or get the hell out!”
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    Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
    -WINSTON CHURCHILL

  17. #17
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    It depends on the individual and department/school. Call/go see the school you're looking to get into. If anything, try some of the private fire academies...they are usually not concerned with some issues as long as they're getting paid. Although, it may cost you more to go there.

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