1. #1
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    Exclamation Vision requirements, SCBA, and contacts

    Hey all,

    I wear soft contacts (20/20) and without them I am blind as a bat. I was wondering if that would eliminate me from hire. I understand the vision requirements are probably for using a SCBA but can you wear your soft contacts underneath it? Just wondering if I need to look into Lasik pretty quick since I am involved in two hiring processes at this point in time and would be devastated if eliminated for something I overlooked.

    Here are the requirements as stated in the job posting:

    1) Far visual acuity less than 20/40 binocular, corrected with contact lenses or spectacles. Far visual acuity less than 20/100 binocular for wearers of hard contacts or spectacles, uncorrected. 2) Color perception. Monochromatic vision resulting in inability to use imaging devices. 3) Monocular vision. 4) Any eye condition that results in a person not being able to safely perform essential job tasks.


    Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Contacts

    By the sounds of the requirements you seem fine even though you have bad uncorrected vision.
    Your best bet is to call the HR department and ask about it.
    Last edited by ant195; 04-24-2006 at 11:54 AM.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with the poor timid spirits, who know neither victory nor defeat." FDR

  3. #3
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    While OSHA does prohobit firefightesr from wearing contacts while on an SCBA (29 CFR 1910.134), they recently adopted a new policy:

    "Violations of the respirator standard involving the use of rigid gas-permeable or soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses with any type of respirator shall be characterized as de minimis. A violation is characterized as de minimis if it has no direct or immediate relationship to emplyoee safety or health. Citations are not issued for de minimis volitions, and there is no monetary pentalty for abatement."

    NFPA 1500 allows the use of soft lenses if a firefighter has demonstrated successful long-term use (6 months or more) of lenses with no problems.

    I think you should be fine. I have absolutely TERRIBLE vision as well, and there wasn't even a mention of it in either my pre-employment physical, or interviews.

  4. #4
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    I wear contacts with my SCBA and have had no problems. I asked my BC of training who also needs corrective lensese. He says he throws them in a case in his helmet, because if youre using an SCBA, chances are your vision is already next to nothing. His son who is a firefighter has a special face piece that fits his glasses.

    If i were you though, i would look into lasik anyway. I plan on getting it done once im out of basic training. Everyone ive talked to said it was the best money they ever spent, and they wish they had done it years ago.

  5. #5
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    Same here. Glasses are out of the picture with an SCBA, and my vision's crap. I've never had good luck with contacts, so I'm hoping to go for Lasik in the next year or so.

  6. #6
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    Wow! Thanks for the quick replies! I did call the departments in question today. I just posted on here to get some opinions and feedback since I had unneccesarily worried about it all weekend and was not going to be able to call til after lunch. Looks like it was the right thing to do since I got good feedback.


    I do plan on getting lasik...just wanted to make sure I didnt have to get it within the next few weeks/months.

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