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Thread: Department Medical Officer

  1. #1
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    Default Department Medical Officer

    I was wondering how many volunteer fire departments have a medical officer and if so what is the scope of their duties? For instance, does your department require a medial exam prior to allowing a new member to join and what type of follow up medical screening do you do for your members? I'm asking because recently we had a member with significant medical problems who was finally told he could no longer drive and the decision was not taken very well. The decision was made by the chief and backed by board of directors, but I wonder if it would have been better if we had a medical officer to make such a decision. The fact is, with many volunteer departments there is no mandatory retirement age and with 50% of ff deaths medically related I believe we could be doing a better job in the volunteer service to prevent these deaths by earlier intervention.
    I would appreciate any feedback especially from departments that do have a medical officer and the benefits or problems they have encountered.

    Thanks,
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by FFTLoach View Post
    I was wondering how many volunteer fire departments have a medical officer and if so what is the scope of their duties? For instance, does your department require a medial exam prior to allowing a new member to join and what type of follow up medical screening do you do for your members? I'm asking because recently we had a member with significant medical problems who was finally told he could no longer drive and the decision was not taken very well. The decision was made by the chief and backed by board of directors, but I wonder if it would have been better if we had a medical officer to make such a decision. The fact is, with many volunteer departments there is no mandatory retirement age and with 50% of ff deaths medically related I believe we could be doing a better job in the volunteer service to prevent these deaths by earlier intervention.
    I would appreciate any feedback especially from departments that do have a medical officer and the benefits or problems they have encountered.

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Our medical officer oversees the EMTs and medics. He makes sure all credentials and certs are up to date. He is in charge of medical trainings and getting the proper materials for our CEHs. As far as new members go, we do require a complete physical before they are outfitted with gear.
    Matt_W_Evans likes this.
    Buck
    Assistant Chief/EMT-B

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    In my department I am the Medical Officer. I am responsible for overseeing all First Responders, EMTs, and Paramedics. I am responsible for all medical evaluations, ems reporting, infection control, and alot more.

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    just because you are a volunteer department , doesn't mean you should not require annual physicals and health clearance from a licensed physician or medical practitioner such as a PA or NP. After age 50 it should include a full cardiac workup vision testing, and blood tests for things such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension , high cholesterol and many others. If you follow the NFPA standard the physical is almost the same as an FAA flight physical.

    It's time the good ole boy network prevailed in the fire service. Same with having bars in firehouses, should be a thing of the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frmboybuck View Post
    Our medical officer oversees the EMTs and medics. He makes sure all credentials and certs are up to date. He is in charge of medical trainings and getting the proper materials for our CEHs. As far as new members go, we do require a complete physical before they are outfitted with gear.
    That's a lot like our Dept. Our EMS Officer is in charge of the EMT's, and he is a very involved Paramedic with the county. We also have a physical exam prior to employment
    "Being a firefighter is like being on a professional sports team, but better." - Sean K.

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    quoted from above......."just because you are a volunteer department , doesn't mean you should not require annual physicals and health clearance from a licensed physician or medical practitioner such as a PA or NP. After age 50 it should include a full cardiac workup vision testing, and blood tests for things such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension , high cholesterol and many others. If you follow the NFPA standard the physical is almost the same as an FAA flight physical."

    AGREED.......even though I have to go through this process for each department.....here, we have an outside medical agency fulfill our physicals......one of the depatments uses Concentra - a private organization - and the other utilizes their workers' comp provider. I sure wish they 'spoke' to each other!

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