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  1. #1
    Forum Member dchomen's Avatar
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    Default diabetic firefighters

    Any information reguarding the hire, retention of members who are diagnoised with type 1 diabetes ( insulin dependant) would be greatly appreciated. We have a firefighter who is type 1 and need some guidance as to any protocols you may have instituted. Such as suspendion o fthe basal rate on his pump, and ingestiing 30 carbs prior to engaging in offensive interior attack. Any help would be of great value. Thanks in advance , Stay Safe and Keep Low, jack.


  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Default

    We have one firefighter who is an insulin dependent diabetic. In his 16 years on the job... he has only had one diabetic reaction... as the pharmacy gave him the wrong insulin. He is in control of his diabetes, the diabetes doesn't control him.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  3. #3
    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Arrow A suggestion

    You may want to check out this thread also...
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=59295

  4. #4
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    Default Hope..

    Just to give a little hope to a sistuation, there is a POC firefighter a town over that go through dialysis treatments every week, and hes still on the job. Maybe not the info you need, but very assuring.

  5. #5
    Forum Member dchomen's Avatar
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    Default thnaks

    Thanks for the help in this issue. jack

  6. #6
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    Default

    in my department if your insulin dependant you are no longer full duty. you can control it bye diet only. jg.

  7. #7
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    Default NFPA 1582

    I'd suggest looking at NFPA 1582 - It specifically prohibits Interior Clearance for Insulin Dependant Diabetics

  8. #8
    Forum Member dchomen's Avatar
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    Default Two Things....

    First, NFPA 1582 is a guideline not law and must be adopted by the prospective department. This provision is a blanket exclusion that has it's gensis in civil service law dating from the 20's. It is ignorant of current treatment modalities, advances in technology, wellness diets and physical fitness training. It does not recogize the understanding of the disease.

    Second, It does not take the place of ADA (American with Disabilities Act). The blanket exclusion of a candidate without the reasonable man test has been ruled discriminatory. A reasonable, job related and validated physical test is required under the law. This test must meet the minimum essential qualification standards. CPAT, combat challenge type of physical exam are excellent in testing the fitness for duty. This test however must be validated by each department by their current personnel.

    Now having said that I am not avocating that candidates who cannot physically do the job be hired to fire departments. Rather each candidate who applies needs to be provided with equal opportunity to prove they can meet the minimum essential qualification standards for hire.

    My own history atests to this opinion. In 1983 our civil service rules had a blanket exculsion for any candidate who had a back condition called "spondylothesis". A defect in one of the horn processes of my lumbar vertibra. Until the physical I had no idea what this was and that I had it. Myself and three other firefighters challenged this medical decision by the county doctor by receiving second opinions from othropedic surgeons. The hearing allowed us a voice and the result was the hiring of all four of us. We have comepleted 88 years of continuos service without one day lost to a back injury! So much for blanket exculsionary medical policies that would have prevented four of us to complete careers in the fire service.

    Some may say apples to oranges, as to the a back defect versus a Type 1 diabetic. My answer the process need to judge the merit of each candidate based on knowledge not discriminatory blanket policies. Stay Safe and Keep Low, jack.

    PS Not a lawyer but a firefighter and past president of L-1696. Everyone comes home, jack.
    Last edited by dchomen; 07-11-2005 at 12:58 AM.

  9. #9

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    Default

    I am a volunteer firefighter right now and attending school. I want to become a firefighter. I understand that it is not a law, but even though it isnt how do i get around it. Because as you know it is easy to get turned down. My question is how to keep from getting passed over because of my diabetes.

  10. #10
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    Default

    Further 1582 (at least the draft I can get reading for free) doesn't preclude type I diabetics. It gives an exception:

    1. Treated by a knowledgeable physician
    2. 1 year of success with blood testing/glucose management
    3. No retinal problems
    4. Normal renal functions
    5. No autonomic or peripheral neuropathy
    6. No cardiac issues.
    7. Positive statement from endocrinologist indicating succesful
    self-management, A1C less than 8, no other risks, no severe
    hypoglycemic events in the past year, and no other contraindications
    to fire service training and operaions.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Last time I checked it was called discrimination. As long as you receive clearence from your doctor and the agencies doctor you should be fine. Medical impairments cannot disqualify you for a position. I would check with the ADA. Just my .02

  12. #12
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    Default

    Medical impairment's can disqualify for you from a position where your life, and the lives of others could be placed in direct jeopardy, should your medical impairment get in the way.

    Within reason, I can see hiring diabetic firefighters. If you've got it controlled, and managed, okay. I've got no problem with it. But what's laid out in 1582, at least as FlyingRon has posted, makes sense to me. That's not a lot to ask of someone, because if you meet that, you pretty much are showing you can control your illness. The ADA does not grant blanket rights to somone with a disability or illness, to do anything and everything. It says you can't discriminate on the basis of illness or injury, or debilitating disease or handicap. If one's illness makes them physically unable to do the job, it isn't discrimination, it's failing to meet hte job conditions.

    But like was said, blanket statements don't work. It needs to be evaluated case by case.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Yes, my son has been a diabetic, diagnosed when he was three months old. I've also worked and run marathons with other adult diabetics. I'm familiar with the tests mentioned in my previous post and the general limitations on diabetics. Anybody with well managed diabetics should pretty much recognize the criteria above. A1A's below 8 aren't just a good idea for firefighters, but for anybody with diabetes. The rest pretty much just reinforces that you've had things under control for an extended period.

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