Does your department have medical exams and /or physical fitness requirements?
I'm guessing no, as that seems to be almost as hot a topic as shaving and background investigations.
There are medical standards which if used would dismiss most liability assuming these out of shape firefighters were passing the standards. I am not aware of any departments being held liable for allowing grossly unfit firefighters onto the fire ground, but there is always a first time.
We have started a health and wellness program. It all starts with a free exam by the county health dept. It measures BMI and blood pressure. If found to be stage 1 or 2 hypertensive the officers will pay for a complete checkup for the firefighter. The reason for that is because the overweight firefighters did not want to have to pay for the checkup, and possibly save there own life. If hypertensive, the firefighter will be taken off the active duty roster until steps are taken to mitigate the problem and the member obtains a pass from the doctor.
Well, Monday night I made the presentation to the entire FD at monthly meeting. I had NFPA 1500, SPS330, and OSHA 1910.134 and handed out copies to everyone of the relevant sections of each. I stated the FDs new policy regarding beards and how it related to training and fire response. I only got one kind of evil stare from a member with a beard, lots of questions about how long the facial hair could be, but mostly acceptance of this is how it is.
I still have to address it with my other volly FD because of work I haven't been able to make a meeting yet. I'll let you know how that goes.
Well, the officer's meeting with my other volly FD occurred last night. I got 100% support for enforcing this standard and as my son, LT Chenzo pointed out it was already in our by-laws manual so all we had to do was say no more, we are enforcing state and national standards regarding facial hair.
It went well in the general membership meeting, no one argued, one guy asked how long his mustache could be and that was that.
I don't know why I was so worried...
"Worry is interest paid on a debt that never comes due."
Originally Posted by FyredUp
But worry can also spur you to preparation, which in your case it obviously did. So it paid off.