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  1. #1
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    Default Medical Disqualification Question

    Good Morning All,

    I have a question to ask you all for your opinion and the future of my career as a firefighter... I have recently been diagnosed with Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation which comes and goes at random times... I am not too familiar as to what the triggers are. My doctor has put me on a small drug regiment of Flecainide 50mg (once in morning/ once at night).

    My question is, would ANY department hire me if I have this condition? Would they hire me if I did a procedure (Ablasion) and show that I have been cured by not showing symptoms for X amount of months? I looked in to the NFPA guidelines of a firefighter and it was stated below what category I would fall in:

    (NFPA 1582, B-3.3.2)

    4.4 Disqualifying Medical Conditions



    Category A Medical Conditions: A medical condition that would preclude a person from performing as a fire fighter in a training or emergency operational environment by presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of the person or others. A candidate shall not be certified as meeting the medical requirements of this standard if the physician determines that a candidate has any Category A medical condition specified herein.



    Category B Medical Conditions: A medical condition that, based on its severity or degree, may preclude a person from performing as a fire fighter in a training or emergency operational environment by presenting a significant risk to the safety and health of the person or others. A candidate shall not be certified as a meeting the medical requirements of this standard if the physician determines that the candidate has a Category B medical condition specified herein that is of sufficient severity to prevent the candidate from performing, with or without reasonable accommodation, the essential functions of a fire fighter without posing a significant risk to the safety and health of the candidate or others.

    4.4.7 Heart and Vascular System.



    4.4.7.1 Heart.

    Category A medical conditions shall include:

    a) Current angina pectoris.

    b) Left bundle branch block or second degree Type II atrioventricular block.

    c) Myocardial insufficiency.

    d) Acute pericarditis, endocarditis, or myocarditis, Chronic pericarditis, endocarditis with resultant significant valvular lesions, or myocarditis leading to myocardial insufficiency or excludable arrhythmias.

    e) History of myocardial infarction, coronary artery bypass, or coronary angioplasty.

    f) Cardiac pacemaker.

    g) Recurrent syncope.



    Category B medical conditions shall include:

    a) Significant valvular lesions of the heart including prosthetic valves.

    b) Coronary artery disease.

    c) Atrial tachycardia, flutter, or fibrillation.

    d) Third degree atrioventricular block.

    e) Ventricular tachycardia.

    f) Hypertrophy of the heart.

    g) Recurrent paroxysmal tachycardia.

    h) History of a congenital abnormality.

    I) Any other cardiac condition that results in a person not being able to perform as a fire fighter.



    Any Info or suggestion about my dream career is much appreciated very much! I just want to know for sure from other firefighters that I can keep pursuing my dreams or continue down another path. Thank you all for your time and hope to hear some feedback!


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Default

    The answers haven't changed since the last time you asked.

    Given that there will almost certainly be applicants every bit as qualified with you who do not have a history of cardiac issues, which do you think will be chosen? Answer your own question truthfully.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    The answers haven't changed since the last time you asked.

    Given that there will almost certainly be applicants every bit as qualified with you who do not have a history of cardiac issues, which do you think will be chosen? Answer your own question truthfully.
    Huh? It isn't who is medically "more qualified." If the examining physician feels it is controlled and meets the NFPA category B guidelines then he'll be fine. There is a guy on my job with something similar and he's never had any issues because it is considered controlled.

  4. #4
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    DoeS it affect any physical work out now???

    If you have a procedure and it takes care of the problem, then you no longer have a problem, like someone getting thier vision fixed

    Suggest you visit a couPle of depts in your area, and talk to someone higher up for thier opinion

  5. #5
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    Here is the part that applies to YOU:

    medical condition specified herein that is of sufficient severity to prevent the candidate from performing, with or without reasonable accommodation, the essential functions of a fire fighter without posing a significant risk to the safety and health of the candidate or others.

    So, the question for YOUR doctor is whether or not he will write you a letter stating that this condition will NOT affect you as a firefighter. If he will write this letter, there is a good chance that you will pass a medical exam. If not, your chances decrease dramatically. As a general rule, your doctor is a specalist and a City doctor will usually defer to his opinion.

    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  6. #6
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    Talking

    Thank you all so much for your insight! at this point, it is controlled with the medication and it does not debilitate me from doing any kind of workout. I was also wondering, if they ask me at oral if I have any medical conditions, will this drop me down points? or kick me off the list automatically?

    This is something that I am very passionate about and don't want to quit when I have come this far. I know my health always comes first, but I feel that I am capable of doing this job and keeping healthy at the same time. Thank you all again for taking the time to read this and wish you all the best of luck with your careers!

  7. #7
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    They are not allowed to ask you any questions about your medical condition or history in the entry level interview, It would only come up once you are going through a medical exam. A medical exam is a condition of employment.
    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  8. #8
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    Default Thank you!

    Thank you all for all your comments and support! I really appreciate all the feedback's from great people! I was hoping to get one more insight on this? Is it actually true that HR is the final say of who gets hired or not? Also which candidate will they choose from the following choices: Candidate A - Healthy, Candidate B - Health condition that is controlled with Meds, or Candidate C - Past health condition cured by an invasive procedure. Is it still possible for Candidates B & C to be hired over Candidate A? Let me know what you think and thank you again for taking the time to read my concerns! I am hoping this does not stop me from becoming something that I have always wanted to be!

    Thanks!

  9. #9
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    Yes and no. The medical exam is not administered until you have a job offer. It's a condition of employment, meaning you pass and you are hired. If you do not pass the job offer is rescinded.

    HR makes sure you pass all of the steps in the hiring process. You are not "certified" for appointment until you pass each phase. The medical is just one part. The others depend on the agency. Some departments also include psych, background and polygraph. As I said earlier, it's agency specific.

    Paul Lepore
    Division Chief
    Aspiringfirefighters.com
    Paul Lepore
    Battalion Chief
    www.aspiringfirefighters.com

  10. #10
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    Tim,
    I work as a Cardiac Monitor Tech and see many people in AFIB and some of those have had it reversed and/or controlled. My own father is fighting with having it on and off and has gone through ablation and changing meds to try to keep it away. For sure you would have to have it reversed.. even then it will be on your medical record. Yes, it is true, this will make your dream harder to aquire. Do you want it that bad though???? If you do, then don't let ANYTHING keep you from fighting for it!!!! Your chances of getting on as a volunteer and still living the dream is a better reality though. I have been a volunteer for nine years and it is very fulfilling. That is my advice. I wish you the best of luck! Julie
    Last edited by Myfireangel; 08-16-2012 at 04:49 AM.

  11. #11
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    Thank you all again for your advices! I am doing the legwork to try and ask all the HR departments in my area on their policies and standards. I am not going to quit to fulfill a dream of mine! I currently reside in California and looking to go anywhere that will hire me. I will keep fighting

    -Tim

  12. #12
    Forum Member Tipys's Avatar
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    Timothyarai,

    HR will have nothing to do with it. The only info they are given from the medical is weither you pass or fail.

    It is up to the doctor to give you the ok or not.
    RIP Hela

    "You have to do better then your best."
    BUD's instuctor Class 234


    "A man who won't die for something is not fit to live."
    Martin Luther King, Jr

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