Thread: New Here

  1. #1
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    Default New Here

    Hey guys, I've been looking through the forums the past couple of days and decided to join even though I am not yet a firefighter. I am looking forward to a career in firefighting but I have some questions. I was wondering if anyone here has celiac disease or knows what it is, and knows if that is permitted in firefighting. The reason I ask is because it kept me out of the military which bummed me out. Also I wondered if anyone knows the general sight requirements, I should be able to find that on google if no one knows, but I might as well check here first. I was also wondering if you guys had any friends/family members which put down your career choice. I have had a few people tell me that I am wasting my potential, and I was just wondering if anyone else had that problem. And I don't really know how to word this, but I am afraid my body might not really be up to the task of firefighting and I need some help to try and make me as good as possible, because here is the situation. I am not a big guy, I am 5'8 135lbs. I can only bench 140 pounds and squat 300 or so, I am a runner though running in half marathons and I am very agile, I was a wrestler for 7 yrs and that honed my reflexes and quickness. Any good work out routines to help me gain strength? I also have some education questions but I will search for answers to that first. I appreciate your help guys, thanks.

    ChrisR

  2. #2
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    Hi Chris,
    Welcome aboard! I am not familiar with the disease you referenced, however, the military and the fire department have similar medical requirements. The best thing you can do is to go to your local fire department and ask them who performs the entry-level medical exams. Set up an appointment with them and ask about your condition.
    The medical eye requirements are usually posted on the department's entry-level flyer. Good luck
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    AspiringFireOfficers.com

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    Thanks for the info, I just sent an email to the recruitment office at Columbus, if I don't get a response from them I will check with my local department. Celiac is an autoimmune gastrointestinal malabsorbtion disease where your body can't process the wheat protein gluten, as long as you stick to a gluten free diet you have no symptoms and it really would not get in the way of me preforming my job well, however thats for the medical dept to decide. The military lists anyone with a malabsorbtion issue as undeployable, and that makes sense because you wouldn't likely be able to eat the provided food. I have already done a lot of research online and found a few firefighters with celiac, I don't know if they got it before or after they were hired or if that even matters, just kindof depends on how often you get medicals. However, I have no clear cut answer yet as it is not a topic generally covered. I'm just going to start contacting departments until I get an answer.

    ChrisR

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    As long as you understand the disease

    I do not think it would stop from being hired as long as you can pass all the test and can do the job

    And you do not have to be off work many days because of it

  5. #5
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    Default my take

    Hey man,

    I have type 1 diabetes and I would think that being a type 1 diabetic would be more of a hindrance towards getting a full time job then having to have a special gluten free diet but as in the same argument here like Chief said before me, if you have a good handle on it and know about it, it can really go far. For instance, I was on a combination department before I moved to Cleveland. I helped teach C.E's (continuing education) classes about diabetes and how to treat it. Also when you get on a department, you can be a wealth of knowledge towards guys on your department. Also when you interview, you can talk about how you have dealt with your specific problem and how it has made you a stronger person not only physically but emotionality and (chief can back me up on this) but civil service panels LOVE stories on how you make yourself better.

    Now, if you take supplements and eat correctly there should be no problem. If you workout and do workouts towards building mass it should help. I am in the same boat as you as I am 5'11" 160 (used to be 150-155 for a long time). It is a lot tougher to gain mass/weight then it is to lose weight. I should clear that up...it is tougher to gain the RIGHT mass/weight. Google can be you're best friend in gaining weight with a specific condition. If you search on how to do it with your specifics, it can really go far. I have been doing P90X. I know there are a lot of guys who do that but you have to find what works for you.

    I know you have questions about education...get your EMT-basic...then some field experience with a private ambulance company or with a volunteer fire department and then go and get your paramedic. Many people will tell you that is your "golden ticket" towards a full time job. Many departments will pay to get you your fire certifications but paying 4 or 5 grand to get your paramedic is a different story.
    Firefighter, EMT-P, CICP, EMSI, HazMat Tech

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    Hey Chris-

    Celiac shouldn't be a problem. Your size is also not a problem with continued strength training and overall fitness (We've got smaller on my dept.). I believe that you could check with NFPA to see if there is anything written in NFPA recommendations regarding the disease.

    As far as people telling you that you may be "wasting your potential"...I couldn't disagree more, but that is something you have to decide for yourself. This life is not for everyone, but its one of the greatest "uses of potential" in my mind because we do amazing things every day all in the service of others. My dad didn't get it...He absolutely didn't want me to pursue this career (even though he'd always been supportive of me in general), and he told me so on a number of occasions. Guess who was the most proud person when I gave the commencement speech at my academy graduation...People will often dissuade you based on their own fears and needs. Pay attention to whatever your own inner voice is telling you here (and always for that matter).

    Best Regards,

    Paul C.
    PaulC
    FF/EMTP
    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

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    Thanks for the support and advice guys. I have been thinking about getting p90x because I have only heard good things about it. I am planning to get my emt-b during the summer quarter at Sinclair, after that I am going to try and locate a job while getting my firefighter certs and paramedic cert. I am also very proud of what I am going to do, People just have this view that it is some lowly job. I think it has to do with the area I live in, a rich suburban area where if you don't have a degree then you are the scum of the earth. I saw someone stuck in the snow in his Mercedes, a mailman came to help and the guy took a cloth to wipe of the spot the mailman touched his Mercedes. That kind of thing makes me sick. Anyway, thanks again for your help, I am still trying to get a deffinate answer on the Celiac issue.

    ChrisR

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    I know this question might make me sound retarded but I don't know any firefighters to ask. I was wondering what the role of the firefighter is on medical calls. I really would like to be involved in both fire suppression and ems. I used to think firefighter/paramedics would help out in the ambulance during ems calls, but now I am not sure. Are there depts that rotate you from ambulance to fire, that would be ideal for me. I also am aware it might vary from dept. to dept. but I just would like to know your experiences with it.

    ChrisR
    Last edited by ChrisR; 02-15-2011 at 10:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    It varies from department to department really. Some department's firefighters will be dual trained as EMTs, First Responders, or even Paramedics. So based on their qualifications, they can do many different things at an EMS call.

    Some departments have firefighters, usually an engine company, respond to EMS calls and stabilize the patient as best they can, until an ambulance can arrive.

    A lot more departments now adays are switching to fire and ems, and moving away from strictly firefighting. Fires aren't as frequent as they were in the 70's and 80's, so they put the firefighters to use in EMS in today's world.

    Many departments are combos of fire and EMS. How they rotate you is up to them though. There are departments that decide each shift where you're riding, and then there are departments that set you on a 6 month rotation; 6 months and the engine, then 6 months on the ambulance. All up to the individual department.

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    That is good information, thanks

    ChrisR

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    Chris-

    I transport patients to the hospital every day on my "Rescue Shifts". (I rotate engine/rescue as a medic.) I've been a medic since 1996. EMS is a huge part of the fire service, and its going to continue to grow.

    Try this article out to help get you started...People seem to like it/benefit from it.

    http://www.gethiredbyfire.com/?p=21

    Best,

    Paul C.
    PaulC
    FF/EMTP
    City of Las Vegas Fire & Rescue
    gethiredbyfire.com & The Fire Jobs App

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    Thanks for the info and the link. I also forgot to mention I have taken the entry level fire exam for one dept already and passed, so that was encouraging.

    ChrisR

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