1. #1
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    Default Will a heart condition prevent me from getting hired?

    Hello. I am 19 years old and am a member of a Volunteer Fire Dept. I am planning on applying to be a firefighter at a respectable dept. I have a heart condition (VSD-Ventricular Septal Defect....a heart murmur) that I was born with. I am cleared by my heart doctor to fight fire for my Volunteer Dept, but was wondering if my heart condition would prevent me from getting hired with a career Dept? If anyone knows the answer to my question, or has any advice, please post a reply. Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by Boonedock; 06-28-2007 at 08:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    As long as your doctor clears you, you should be fine. There are a ton of people walking around with heart murmors and don't even know it. Unless there is more to it, you should be fine
    Eric- FF/Paramedic/Inspector
    Clermont County, Ohio

  3. #3
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    You may have to get an extra echo cardiogram done (which I'm sure you've had!) but if the doc clears you it shouldn't be a problem I also have a heart mumor (also VSD) that I've had since birth. I've never had a problem with it and got cleared by more than one doctor for duty.
    DJ

    IAFF L738
    www.iafflocal738.org

    IACOJ

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    Thanks for the replies. That is a big relief that is shouldnt be an immediate disqualifer. Again, thanks. I really appreciate it.
    Sincerely,
    Boonedock

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    Default Heart Murmer

    Hey Boonedock:


    I too was born with a septal defect. Had open heart surgery in 1968 to correct it. I was told a teflon patch was used. Every doctor since that time has told me not to be worried about it and no restrictions.

    I was initially disqualified in my FD hiring medical because of "an irregular EKG reading". I questioned the doctor and asked what was wrong with that. He said nothhing in itself but it's irregular. I asked him simply "doc, if I bounced a tennis ball on the concrete street and then on the ashphalt driveway, which one was wrong." I continued, with very sensitive listening equipment they would sound different because it is a different material. I told him that is what he is hearing in my heart, the EKG bouncing off the patch sounds a little different. I asked him to check it out and send me to any specialists he needed to.

    I was hired 2 months later and am coming up on 23 years in the fire service. The septal defect has not stopped me at all in life.

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    I'm another example of a VSD (repaired teflon as well, barely enough tissue to sew it in from what I've been told by my parents) patient with a fire service career. I was always told my only limitations were that I needed to avoid activities that involved an impact to the chest (apparently that included bullriding, which I found out after the fact and after a long lecture ) and persuing a career in the military.

    I'm currently on the hire list for Captain with my department and haven't had any career problems whatsoever. I do get the occassional look from the docs at my annual physical, but like SFD said, it's easily explained. It's routine to send out of the ordinary EKG's to a cardiologist when we get our physicals, so it's a regular thing now. I just explain it, they send it in, and I'm cleared.

    It's kind of interesting that there's some of us on here to chat about it. Never would have thought it'd be a topic of conversation on a forum.

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