1. #1
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    Default Firefighting and Crohn's Disease

    I'm currently in the hiring process (post-test, pre-interview) for a city firefighter position, and I have Crohn's Disease. Mine is very well-controlled, and I don't anticipate that it would affect my ability to perform the job at any point.

    However, I'm wondering how this might be viewed by those making the hiring decision? Have you heard of other firefighters with Crohn's Disease?

    Also, if I were hired, is it possible that I could bring my own food to work rather than eat whatever is being prepared at the firehouse? I don't mind doing my share of cooking for everyone else, but it's helpful if I have more control over what I eat.

    Thanks!

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    What does your doctor say


    Will the stress of the job cause problems?

    As far as food should not be a problem
    Now a days a lot of people are eating healthier so they only eat certain things

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire49 View Post
    What does your doctor say


    Will the stress of the job cause problems?

    As far as food should not be a problem
    Now a days a lot of people are eating healthier so they only eat certain things
    I've not spoken with my doctor about firefighting specifically. I've had the disease for eight years, however, and I've never noticed that stress was particularly a trigger for me. Fortunately, I respond well to the medications and am able to lead a normal life.

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    I do not believe NFPA specifically addresses Chron's. I was diagnosed in 1986 and did not respond well to medication and ultimately underwent surgery. I responded very well to the surgery and have been symptom free since 1991. I feel that stress was a major factor in my case and have been careful in managing my stress.

    I became a volunteer firefighter in 1992 and tested heavily until I got a career position in 1996. The Chron's never came up as an employment factor. I have had doctors ask about it during physicals, but always more as a doctor's medical curiosity about my experience with the disease. I've never had one question my ability to do the job.

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    As others have alluded to, it shouldn't be a problem. As long as your MD clears you for duty, the city docs, if you have them like we do, should concur. If you were on my crew and you had to blow mud, I wouldn't stand in your way. I've had to force my way into a crapper once or twice in my time, it's not a position that anyone wants to be in.
    Congratulations on your appointment and good luck!
    IAFF

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    Thanks for the responses, guys.

    Here and there: Congratulations on surgery being so successful for you. I've yet to have a surgery, but from what I hear, many people have the disease recur afterward. The fact that you've been symptom free since 1991 is simply amazing. The best part is that there are now MUCH more effective medications than there were in 1991, so if you ever had issues in the future you'd have a lot more options than you did back then. It's good to hear from a career guy who who has the disease.

    snowball: That's great. Getting between the bathroom and a Crohnie is not a good idea. I actually have a normal "bathroom life" unless I'm on a rare flare up, but I'm perhaps in the minority.

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