1. #1
    Yanjam5123
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down Deaf Firefighter

    I don't know about the rest of the world but the article about a deaf person wanting to be allowed to fight fires got my attention. How could anyone beleive that someone unable to hear can perform up to par as a firefighter? Hearing is a major part of fighting fires, most of the time we can not see and have to rely on touch and hearing to get around, find victims, keep in contact with the team. There is no point to allowing someone to fight fires just to make them happy. someone is going to die, its just a matter of when and who. Is there anyone out there who disagrees? If so, why, and ask yourself how you would feel going into a building with someone who will not be able to hear you should you become seperated and lost and need help.

  2. #2
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

  3. #3
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    How could anyone beleive that someone unable to hear can perform up to par as a firefighter?

    Same as we can believe that people that don't read the whole story, but get just what they want to out of it should still be allowed to fight fire. After all, they might miss something important in the text that saves their or their buddies life.

    Had you bothered to read it all, you would have learned that:

    a) we do not know his level of hearing loss

    b) we do not know if he wears hearing aid

    c) not ONE SINGLE person on either side of the issue advocated him to be an 'inside' guy

    d) without any question, there is plenty for this guy to do on the fire ground

    e) several people have worked with deaf firefighters and had absolutley no problems.

    f) we simply do not know the whole story, and there are plenty of PG County folks on here that have most of it, but aren't responding to the original post or aren't sharing what they know.

    and ask yourself how you would feel going into a building with someone who will not be able to hear you should you become seperated and lost and need help.

    He should not be an inside guy.

    Now answer this one - do you have people on your department that physically cannot pull your big guys out of a hole by themselves? (YES)

    Are they inside firefighters? (YES)

    Why? If something bad goes down, by the time they they crawl out, find help and crawl back in, the big guy may be taking the eternal dirt nap.

    Why don't you keep these folks out of the building? In your own words "There is no point to allowing someone to fight fires just to make them happy. Someone is going to die, its just a matter of when and who."

  4. #4
    Yanjam5123
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    there is a weight requirement and all firefighters must be able to lift that weight. Any person on a fireground with me that can not hear an instructin or needs a special interpreter to help him in the event of an emergency or can not pull his own weight should not be there. No way would I want this guy as my partner, he is of no use to me, if he cant hear well, how am I to communicate with him? The ADA is protecting way too many people and I would fight til the end if anyone with a disabilty restricting their performance ever tried to get on my department. Pass the physical which includes a hearing test dam it. If you don't pass, get out. Don't hide behind a law. as for the article, they did discuss a hearing aid device for him, not good enough for me. also not good enough for the family of the person he ges killed, or the kid he can't hear in a building or outside a building. Lets say hes operating an outside line and an order to evacuate the collapse zone comes in, whats he going to hear? As for plenty for people to do on the scene, there is plenty my very young daughter could do too, should we lower the age restrictions to 5 because the young people can go get a tool for us? As for the pulling a guy out of a hole, if you can't pull a guy out of a hole and help your partner because you'd rather sit and watch TV and scarf a pizza then keep yourself physically fit......yeah, get out.

  5. #5
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Lets say hes operating an outside line and an order to evacuate the collapse zone comes in

    If you're operating an outside, collapse is immenent. Why are guys in the collapse zone?

    The ADA is protecting way too many people

    No argument here, got a booze, drug or other addictive problem, ADA will help you get or keep a job. I'm no fan of the ADA, but as I said before, the reason we have it is because of bone headed close minded people that refuse to even let people compete, try or apply for jobs (and access) to "main stream" society. Same reason we have a BS program called Affrimative Action.

    they did discuss a hearing aid device for him, not good enough for me.

    What about the guy that can't see his hand in front of his face without his coke bottle glasses, but has perfect 20/20 with them?

    should we lower the age restrictions to 5 because the young people can go get a tool for us?

    No, there's a federal law against child labor.

    As for the pulling a guy out of a hole, if you can't pull a guy out of a hole and help your partner because you'd rather sit and watch TV and scarf a pizza then keep yourself physically fit......yeah, get out.

    So how many of these types of folks are still on your department?

  6. #6
    Yanjam5123
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    mongo,

    I like you, you and i would probalby get along really well despite some differences in opinion. You had me cracking up here at work over some of the responses. Well, as for coke bottle galsses, yeah they really gotta go, you have a good point there. For the collapse zone, again, I'm typing as shorthand as possible because I'm here at work, I'm not implying someone would be operating in a collapse zone during immenent collapse, but say a wall starts leaning and the guys start screming to move back ect... no point in me going futher I think you know what I mean now. Ummmmmmm, child labor...agreed, I was just trying to prove a point. How long have you been in?

  7. #7
    mongofire_99
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    you and i would probalby get along really well despite some differences in opinion.

    Probably so

    as for coke bottle galsses, yeah they really gotta go,

    They are unsightly. But we got a guy with 'em that if he had the same prescription in contacts, he wouldn't be able to blink. He has mask mounted glasses for when he's in SCBA.

    How long have you been in?

    Checking on at the big 20.

  8. #8
    Yanjam5123
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    what department? also, I just noticed another topic started before me on this same subject, lots of responses.

  9. #9
    cpr4u
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Poor vision is easier to correct and improve then poor hearing. You can operate on an eye most of the time. I don't know of surgery to correct hearing. I also don't know of any blind people applying for a job in the FD. He needs to realize that there is a place and time for him. A fire is not one of them. Someone in the other thread said something about him leaving his pager on vibrate. What about while he is showering? Or how about sleeping? ADA requires "reasonable" accomodations. Purchasing high-tec hearing aids is not reasonable. Would lazer surgery for vision correction be "reasonable"? NO! So tell him to go find some other line of work.

  10. #10
    lady_in_turnouts
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    cpr4u, ever hear of a cochlear implant? Thats a device to "correct hearing", just like glasses. And nowhere in the article did I see him asking for hearing aids from the dept.Being blind is one thing, deaf another. His eyes still work, he can use his brain just like anyone else(even though with some of the ff's I've worked with I dont think some of them had brains). No one is advocating that he do interior work, but there are plenty of other things he can do on the fireground.

  11. #11
    cpr4u
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Lady, the deaf person's eyes still work, and the blind persons ears still work. Everyone is different. I use both when fighting a fire or on the fire ground. No, I have not heard of the implant you speak of. Is that a reasonable accomadation? Blind people know thier limits, deaf people need to know theirs also.

  12. #12
    lady_in_turnouts
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Originally posted by cpr4u:
    Lady, the deaf person's eyes still work, and the blind persons ears still work. Everyone is different. I use both when fighting a fire or on the fire ground. No, I have not heard of the implant you speak of. Is that a reasonable accomadation? Blind people know thier limits, deaf people need to know theirs also.
    What do you consider a reasonable accomadation?? A cochlear implant is nothing that the dept would have to provide, nor are hearing aids. That is something he as an individual would have to get himself(and he might already have aids or an FM system or such, article doesnt say). The dept would possibly have to hire an interpreter, or get him a text pager...The cochlear implant is a magnet that is surgically implanted inside the skull near the ear. The person then wears a transmitter, with another magnet on the outside of the skull. It is along the lines of a hearing aid but much more powerful and sends sound through the ear differently. It is "almost" like having normal hearing. I am the mother of a deaf son and he has no limits whatsoever. He can do anything a hearing person can do. Just because a person cant hear doesnt mean they should have to sit through life watching the rest of the world do things.You write that the deaf persons eyes still work, and thats true-- in 2 ways, not only for sight but for "hearing". Deaf people see all thats going on around them. I would swear on my life that this gentleman would see more on the fireground than half of the hearing ff's.

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