Thanks guys....got some good chuckles these last few pages....:D
Thanks guys....got some good chuckles these last few pages....:D
So what do we cut? The PPE that NEEDS to be replaced? The 30-year old SCBA on the first due engine? New radios that actually work? The brakes on that second out tanker that are a "little sketchy"?
Tell me what is more important... the chance that he may die on the fireground from a cardiac issue or the chance that the 30-year old SCBA may finally fail in a fire, or the gear that should have been taken out of service will fail at the next response. Which one is the most severe risk?
The fact is physicals would be a great thing. But so would gear that actually would pass inspection, modern SCBA, modern radios and apapratus with 100% reliable brakes. 30K won't buy all of that. In fact, it will buy very little. So which one is the priority?
In the long run, firefighting is a personal choice and so are the concquences that go with it. maybe that physical is the responsibility of that firefighter, not the taxpayers. Maybe he should be getting his own physicals.
Keep making excuses, keep shunning the repsonsibility "Oh Great and Powerful FIRE EDUCATOR." It is hysterical how you run from any danger that may cause you a hang nail but are perfectly okay with the obese tub of lard dropping over from a heart attack because physicals are too expensive. God you are now beyond pathetic and into pathological...
Mr. "Death in the fire service is unacceptable. Injury in the fire service is unacceptable. Unnecessary risk anywhere in life is unacceptable.", Just said that it's okay for the fat guy to die on the fire scene, as long as the guy inside in his SCBA and turnout gear survives. You're ****ting me, right?
How is allowing a 400lb man/woman/whatever, on the fire ground, without medical clearance not an unnecessary risk? Why is the 400lb "exterior operations only" mans life any less important than the guy you sent inside with $2,200 worth of brand new PPE, a $4,000 brand new SCBA, and a $2,000 fancy new radio?
PLEASE, I BEG YOU, respond to this post. I would l-o-v-e, LOVE for everyone to see how you try and back peddle out of this one....
No, a firefighter death is not acceptable.
But making a rural fire department dip into a budget that barely covers fuel and truck maintenance to pay for physicals is not the answer either. Rural fire departments simply do not have the money to pay for physicals that would likely detect the "underlying cardiac problem" in the example you have mentioned. All that would do is cut into the one or two sets of turnouts they may be able to replace this year or the modern SCBA they may be able to afford to purchase every year.
Are there things that a department can do to ensure some level of fitness? Sure. Have the local EMS service perform vitals checks every 3 months or so a develop a guideline regarding BP and pulse. Do it in-house if you have medical personnel. if you have access to paramedics run 4-leads and 12-leads for anyone suspicious. Have the department do medical monitoring on-scene and track the vitals for later review. Do a pre-employment obstacle course to determine fitness levels. We have such a pre-employment physical at my VFD where they demonstrate the ability to perform specific tasks within a specific time frame, and if they can't, they are eligible for support but not line firefighting.
I never said they should do nothing but to dictate a mandate that all fire departments irregardless of their budgets shall ....... will not solve any problems. It will only make the problems in other areas such as PPE, training, SCBA and communications worse, which actually may lead to failures and resulting injuries and deaths.
It's not my place on either of my departments to make and determine policy. I have no input on matters such as this and quite honestly at this stage in my career I really care not to be in a position where I would be involved in these types of decisions. I enjoy being where I am and what I do and I am perfectly happy leaving these matters to the folks that want to be involved in these matters.
The command staff has decided that we will not do ,physicals for volunteers and only pre-employment on career personnel. That is the decision of the command staff, and they call the shots.
Bottom line is most volunteers are big boys, and I'm sure that 400 lb member knows he has issues, but he is a grownup and can decide for himself what he wants to do. Maybe I'm just a believer in that people can take responsibility for their own lives. Should the Chief have a discussion with him? Probably. But that's the job of the Chief, not a LT or Senior Firefighter. And last I checked, Chief not my title.
Frankly, you should talk. Your willing to allow members operate in an abandoned structure for no reason other than that bull***" lines of "a building isn't empty until we say it is" or "because we are fireman and that's what we are SUPPOSED to do" is IMO just as irresponsible as your feelings regarding my stance on physicals. At least I support not throwing members into abandoned structures like cannon fodure just to maintain some idealistic image or some crap about tradition and pride.
My combo department runs on an operating budget of 800K with another 300K dedicated to capital savings.
My volunteer department runs on 100K with 50K devoted to debt and capital savings.
But a budget of 30k is not unusual in the rural departments from here to Mississippi and much of central LA.
Tell them that they need to put less fuel in the trucks and spend that money on physicals. They'll tell you exactly what they think of that idea. And that includes the line firefighters.
First of all, MOST fire departments in this country do not do physicals for volunteers, so if this is such an issue with you, direct your comments to the NVFC and maybe you can stir some interest nationwide because there is no great interest in the volunteer fire service to implement mandated physicals.
Would I love every department to be able to do physicals. Yes. But the fiscal reality of a VFD running on 20K, 30K or 40K is they are not likely buying any new gear for him to collapse in or new airpacks. They are barely keeping the trucks maintained, fueled and paying insurance.
There is no money for physicals. I'll repeat it .. THERE IS NO DAMN MONEY FOR PHYSICALS.
So in short they simply do not and likely never will have the option to give physicals even if they wanted to without cutting into vehicle maintenance, fuel or insurance, and maybe, just maybe the few bucks they have to buy one new set of PPE a year.
That is the reality in the majority of the rural fire service and that will not change if there is suddenly a mandate. All it will do is create a huge fiscal problem that will lead to cuts in other areas.
As I have said there is an element of personal responsibility and personal choice mixed in here. Maybe, just maybe, it's the responsibility of the person who wants to be a firefighter to find out on his own what his medical situation is. Maybe that is something that he should be checking on his own.
Given that my combo department is likely to be rated as a Class 2 from a Class 3 in the next few months, 4 of our members are instructors at LSU-FETI and in the last 5 years we have placed over 12 of our volunteers on career departments, I disagree.
But hey, we all have opinions.
Have a nice night.
Do us all a favor, as firefighters, and do everyone outside of where you live a favor too. Stay in your damn Parish. At least then the only people you have the potential to hurt or kill are your own kind.
HOLY SCHIT BURN! You got me good!
The option isn't no one goes at all. You've just proven that you have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about. If the particular person in question is 400lbs of absolute fat, then the option is, using common sense and looking at the 400lb guy and going "look, you're not going to do a damn thing on the fire ground until we have medical clearance from a doctor. It's for nothing more than your safety, and the safety of your fellow firefighters. Unfortunately, as a department, we don't have the money to fund it. So if you want to stay on the department, and function as an active member, it is your responsibility to get that medical clearance and bring us the documentation."
There's my response to you. I'm not going to get into a ****ing match with someone whose best line was
*Disclaimer* Just for the record, if anyone out there thinks that I have this standpoint on "over weight" firefighters, because I'm some bean pole, or some protein chugging muscle head (no offense to the beanpoles, or protein chugging muscle heads), you're sadly mistaken. I'm a fairly bigger guy, but I've done my damndest to shed fat and put on muscle for years now, and I've proven on more than one occasion that I can do the job. Not just for my own personal health, but for the fact that I will not let my poor health, or lack of agility, strength, or endurance, be the death of one of my fellow firefighters. Whether it because I was too fat and had a heart attack, or because I wasn't strong enough or lacked the endurance to help get them out of a building. I simply cannot allow myself to let that happen.
WE do have an obligation to make sure that volunteers are able to go to work after every run. That is soemthing that we owe to the husbands, wives and kids. Yes, it is family first, then the public. And that may mean backing off sooner than you would like or not performing operations that you think should be performed to minimize the chance of injury.
Yes. We do have that obligation to our volunteer members.