1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Question about becoming a firefighter

    Right now I am part of a volunteer first aid squad as a emt,but I would love to fullfill a childhood dream of becoming a firefighter that I have always had. Only issue is I cant hear in my one ear, is it still possible to become a firefighter?and if so how does one go about becoming a firefighter?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    FWDbuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003


    Is it your desire to be a career firefighter or a volunteer? Most career departments have pretty strict physical requirements and hearing is one of them. I doubt you would pass.

    Many Volunteer departments also have physical standards although some are more relaxed than others. It all depends on where you want to apply.

    As to how to become a firefighter you need to inquire with the organization which you are interested in joining or applying at.

    For what it's worth personally I would not be comfortable working with someone who could only hear in one ear.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Is it fixable ???


  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2014


    I would love to become a career firefighter,but if thats out ill do volunteer.
    Its not fixable,implants or hearing aid wont do anything. My left ear the hearing is at 100%. Its the right ear that the ear drums are blown.

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    May 2014


    You can be on a volunteer department. Don't let being deaf in one ear hold you back. Most of the time you can't hear on the fire ground anyways. If its your dream go for it.

  6. #6
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default You won't know until you try...

    TL : DR If you can pass the NFPA 1582 you may meet the hiring requirements of Career departments.

    City of Houston Fire Department requires candidates to pass the NFPA 1582 Standard Medical Exam.


    LA County Fire's Requirements:
    There may be no greater than a 25 Db loss in the better ear as averaged over the test frequencies of 500, 1000, 2000, and 3000 Hz. There may not be a peak loss at any of the test frequencies greater than

    30 Db at 500 Hz
    30 Db at 1000 Hz
    40 Db at 2000 Hz
    40 Db at 3000 Hz

    There may be no greater than a 35 Db loss in the worse ear as averaged over the test frequencies, and no peak loss greater than 45 Db at any of the test frequencies.

    In the case of a questionable, unusual, or borderline hearing loss, the applicant's record will be reviewed by the Occupational Health Service consultant in otolaryngology who will make a recommendation as to the applicant's employability, and forward it to the Medical Director for final disposition.


    FDNY requires NFPA 1582 as well (the cited document is from 2001, but I couldn't find anything newer and had no reason to think it had changed).


    As for NFPA 1582 I found this regarding hearing requirements:

    6.2 Medical Conditions Affecting Ability to Safely Perform Essential Job Tasks.
    6.2.1 Medical conditions that can affect a candidate’s ability to safely perform essential
    job tasks shall be designated either Category A or Category B.
    6.2.2 Candidates with Category A medical conditions shall not be certified as meeting the
    medical requirements of this standard.
    6.2.3 Candidates with Category B medical conditions shall be certified as meeting the
    medical requirements of this standard only if they can perform the essential job tasks
    without posing a significant safety and health risk to themselves, members, or civilians.

    6.5* Ears and Hearing.
    6.5.1 Category A medical conditions shall include the following:
    (1) Chronic vertigo or impaired balance as demonstrated by the inability to
    tandem gait walk.
    (2) On audiometric testing, average hearing loss in the unaided better ear greater
    than 40 decibels (dB) at 500 Hz, 1000 Hz, and 2000 Hz when the audiometric
    device is calibrated to ANSI Z24.5.
    (3) Any ear condition (or hearing impairment) that results in a person not being
    able to safely perform essential job tasks.
    6.5.2 Category B medical conditions shall include the following:
    (1)*Unequal hearing loss
    (2) Average uncorrected hearing deficit at the test frequencies 500 Hz, 1000 Hz,
    2000 Hz, and 3000 Hz greater than 40 dB in either ear
    (3) Atresia, stenosis, or tumor of the auditory canal
    (4)*External otitis
    (5)*Agenesis or traumatic deformity of the auricle
    (6)*Mastoiditis or surgical deformity of the mastoid
    (7)*Ménière’s syndrome, labyrinthitis, or tinnitus
    (8)*Otitis media

    A.6.5 Currently, no hearing tests will allow the fire department physician to accurately
    predict whether the fire fighter will adequately be able to safely perform essential job
    duties. Job-specific hearing tests should be individualized for each department and its
    specific job functions. The following list of hearing-specific tasks can assist to direct
    development of hearing protocols:
    (1) Understanding spoken commands, both over the radio and while wearing
    (2) Hearing alarm signals, including building evacuation, low air alarm on the
    SCBA, and PASS alarms
    (3) Hearing and locating the source of calls for assistance from victims or other
    fire fighters
    All of these tasks will need to be performed with reasonably simulated incident scene
    background noise and SCBA noise. The inability to hear sounds of low intensity or to distinguish voice from background noise can lead to failure to respond to imminently
    hazardous situations. (See
    A.6.5.2(1) Unequal hearing can result in the inability to localize sounds, leading to failure
    in the ability to safely perform search and rescue and other localization tasks.


    Sorry its not from NFPA directly... couldn't get the plug in to load. I wish you the best!

    "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." - George Bernard Shaw

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2014


    Thank you! I am going to be calling one of the many volunteer firehouses by me to see if I can join and what I need to do.Then look into if I can make a career out of it. I appreciate everyones help especially Ryanthemach's.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. FireFighter 1 question
    By Eric George in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 06-02-2014, 03:04 PM
  2. Question about becoming a firefighter?
    By hulkhoganlogan in forum Recruitment and Retention
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-24-2010, 11:19 PM
  3. Question About Being a FireFighter
    By abiddar in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 11-26-2009, 02:51 AM
  4. AF FireFighter question
    By chavez408 in forum Federal & Military Firehouse Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-22-2009, 06:51 PM
  5. New Firefighter question
    By bg2095 in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 04-03-2009, 09:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register