Thread: Nfpa 1582

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    Default Nfpa 1582

    Since I think my post will get lost in the other thread, I wanted to start a new one asking what other departments that are applying for apparatus are doing about the requirement for physicals according to NFPA1002/NFPA 1582.

    For those that are still applying, have you read NFPA 1582? I skimmed over it, and I don't know if I am not reading it correctly or what, but isn't their "physical" rather extensive? We're not talking a DOT physical here. I am reading about being hooked up to EKG's, every manner of cancer testing (colonoscopy, mammograms, you name it), basically every test that can possibly be done to a person. I cannot even imagine what the cost of all those tests would be.

    It even states in there that "tobacco use is a Categeroy A medical condition" and in the beginning of the standard, it states that if you have a Category A medical condition, you cannot pass the standard.

    Am I reading this completely wrong? I really need to know what others are doing because this is make-or-break on whether I can hit "submit" on our tanker grant. We cannot afford to sustain these physicals, let alone get our volunteers to agree to commit to this.

    Beth

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    I have trouble understanding 1582 myself. When i read it through 2 years ago, i thought i was sunk with 2 Cat A conditions (rheumatoid arthritis and the smelly one), but was cleared for structural entry and level A haz-mat.

    We're getting ours at a clinic about 20 miles away for $275 to $325 per. A few years ago the county haz-mat team paid around $5,000 for a 6 hour visit from a mobile unit--would have given us time for about 20 physicals. Company was Examinetrics (or close) that operated out of the Corn Belt (Iowa? Nebraska??)

    Sustainability is a huge issue, and we get them in about every 23 months (stretching the yearly about as far as we can get it). Really hurts the budget.

    earl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenacres2 View Post
    I have trouble understanding 1582 myself. When i read it through 2 years ago, i thought i was sunk with 2 Cat A conditions (rheumatoid arthritis and the smelly one), but was cleared for structural entry and level A haz-mat.

    We're getting ours at a clinic about 20 miles away for $275 to $325 per. A few years ago the county haz-mat team paid around $5,000 for a 6 hour visit from a mobile unit--would have given us time for about 20 physicals. Company was Examinetrics (or close) that operated out of the Corn Belt (Iowa? Nebraska??)

    Sustainability is a huge issue, and we get them in about every 23 months (stretching the yearly about as far as we can get it). Really hurts the budget.

    earl
    Thanks for your reply. I just have a hard time believing that everything that NFPA 1582 says you need to have tested for could be done for less than several thousand dollars. The list is quite extensive, to the point that I don't see how it could even be done with a mobile unit. Also, the standard states that the physicals must be every 12 months with only a +/- of 3 months.

    I am just amazed that so many departments on here are still able to apply for apparatus grants with this standard. Is FEMA not checking on this? I just don't want to put our department in a position that after being awarded a truck, the physicals will end up costing more than if we bought the truck ourselves.

    I hope that someone else can share their thoughts, cause I am one confused person right now. I highly suggest skimming over the standard if you are applying, because it may cause more harm than good with getting an apparatus grant.

    Beth

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    I am joining the confused crowd.

    The program guidance says NFPA or state equivalent. So could we go with our state's standard that doesnt require the NFPA 1582 astronaut physical?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GFPD2005 View Post
    I am joining the confused crowd.

    The program guidance says NFPA or state equivalent. So could we go with our state's standard that doesnt require the NFPA 1582 astronaut physical?
    I see in the guidance where it says "equivalent". But on firegrantsupport. in the FAQ, it states that it must be NFPA 1002 and specifically mentions NFPA 1582 physicals..... They really know how to talk in circles. It comes down to the fact that the only way we can apply is if we don't have to do the physicals. But they don't seem to want to give a clear answer to that

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    Default Called the help desk this A.M.

    Ok, to add to the drama, I called the help desk this morning. The gentleman there said yes the physicals are a requirement and will be enforced. And they must be to the NFPA 1582 ("astronaut testing") level. So I guess we're out of the apparatus game.

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    And what if no one passes the physical? Then, what DHS? Are you going to let a quarter million rig sit in the house where no one can drive it?
    Even better, is DHS going to only allow HMO's to do the testing? Will you be limited to go to certain doctors only? Can you only go on a Tuesday afternoon? I am all for making sure departments are trained to use the equipment, but this is going TOO FAR!! In my state, the only reason you need a physical for driving is so you can drive for-hire. To drive a fire truck, all you need is a Class B with NO PHYSICAL. If it's good enough for the state, then why are they cramming all this down our throats? Career side, I could understand, but come on. We're talking about those who drop everything they are doing whenever in the day to help someone out.

    ok, rant over.
    Last edited by 4caster; 03-27-2008 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Stupidity
    BAClair

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    As with lots of DHS funding, it looks like they are trying to shift these funds to the major cities. They are the only ones who have the time, money, and personnel to be able to meet those requirments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4caster View Post
    We're talking about those who drop everything they are doing whenever in the day to help someone out. WE ARE NOT DOING THIS ALL DAY LONG! WE ARE NOT CAREER FIREFIGHTERS! DO NOT DEMAND AND EXPECT THE SAME REQUIREMENTS! OTHERWISE, GET OFF YOUR BUTT AND COME HERE AND DO IT YOURSELF, DHS!!!!!!

    ok, rant over.
    Hang on a sec - I take a little offense to this. I am a proud volunteer and I think it's obvious that those who are career have more "time" to do this stuff than us who have full time jobs outside of the fire service. However, these statements are the reason many of us volunteers feel as if we are not respected the same as career folks. We have the same obligations to properly TRAIN and equip our personnel the same as a career fire department. It's a bunch of nonsense to say that we should not be held to the same standards for training.

    Remember, the fire services leaders (yes, NVFC is one of them) develop the guidance, not DHS, so don't go hatin' too much.

    I think we all agree that it is difficult at times for volunteer personnel 'make ends meet' but we can't say that just because we're volunteer "we ain't gonna do it" -- because that's a sure way to NOT get something.

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    Point well taken. Sometimes my thoughts get a little side-tracked before the coffee, but that's no excuse. But, there are still the majority of departments that cannot efficiently train their members due to work, money, and proximity to training resources. My biggest point is for those who are on call all day and have "nothing to do", that is, no calls to respond to, they have the opportunity to train to the standards. However, for volunteers, the opportunity to sit down and study is far and limited. How many of you have the spare time in the middle of the day to put in 3-4 hours of study and practice? In the MIDDLE of the day? Not too many. Now, what about at night? Do you not have other commitments, obligations, or have the mental and physical capabilities to effectively train every night? Granted, this should not be interpreted as a cop-out. But, to lump us into a level of training that may take years to accomplish is very worrisome to this guy.
    And let me clarify that I do not want to be in the "ain't gonna do it" crowd; I know first-hand how valuable training is. It is the certification that makes things difficult.
    BAClair

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    My fire company runs an average of 1,100 calls per year -- ALL volunteer. We currently have more than 80% of our personnel trained to the National FF1 level certification, with the remaining 20% holding State FF1 certificates. In 2005, we had 2% certified. We took a hard approach to training in the last few years and it looks like this year's grant program is gonna make it all seem worthwhile. It's not terribly complicated, just takes some determination to get it done.

    Regardless, the comment of saying "there are still the majority of departments that cannot efficiently train their members" is not acceptable. We kill people due to lack of training.

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    A little side-tracked here, but I wanted to add my 2-cents that I am not complaining one bit about the training requirements. 100% of our firefighters are NFPA 1001 trained, they have to be within one year of obtaining membership. Until they do, they are very limited to what they can do on calls. And in order to drive/operate, they need the driver/operator courses. So that's not my issue at all. It's the physicals.

    After talking with a physician's assistant, it looks like these physicals would cost several thousand dollars PER PERSON. Now take that times our 30 members, PER YEAR. We have to fight our townships every year to keep our budget from going down when the cost of everything is going up. The cost of the physicals would be more than our total annual budget. Not possible. We also (like a lot of volunteer departments) have a hard time getting and keeping members. They are not going to want to be put through astronomical physicals every year. To me, that's a personal choice. What I do see is if things like this are eventually enforced beyond the FEMA grants, I see a lot of small volunteer departments going away. Hope MY house doesn't ever start on fire.....

    ~off rant~

    Beth

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLY4420 View Post
    My fire company runs an average of 1,100 calls per year -- ALL volunteer. We currently have more than 80% of our personnel trained to the National FF1 level certification, with the remaining 20% holding State FF1 certificates. In 2005, we had 2% certified. We took a hard approach to training in the last few years and it looks like this year's grant program is gonna make it all seem worthwhile. It's not terribly complicated, just takes some determination to get it done.

    Regardless, the comment of saying "there are still the majority of departments that cannot efficiently train their members" is not acceptable. We kill people due to lack of training.
    So SLY, are you saying that your department does/intends on doing these annual 1582 physicals?

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    Where can I find a copy of NFPA 1582?

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    Talking

    Check your E-mail , it's on the way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by befferk View Post
    So SLY, are you saying that your department does/intends on doing these annual 1582 physicals?
    Actually, we currently have 5 members enrolled in the full NFPA 1002 Pumper Driver/Operator course next month. We were awarded our apparatus grant in 2004 so fortunately we're not under the same restrictions.

    HOWEVER, if I desperately needed fire apparatus to safely protect our firefighters and our community, I would do whatever I was asked to get the funds. If they want us to take a yearly refresher in exchange for $275,000...yeah, I'll do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by befferk View Post
    We also (like a lot of volunteer departments) have a hard time getting and keeping members. They are not going to want to be put through astronomical physicals every year.

    Beth
    As a volunteer, i don't object to the entire physical--just the fecal occult blood count that requires me to put popsycle sticks in my poo. I think they replace "Fecal Occult Blood Count" with "Blue Oyster Cult".

    Relaxing humor over, back to serious discussion.

    earl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenacres2 View Post
    As a volunteer, i don't object to the entire physical--just the fecal occult blood count that requires me to put popsycle sticks in my poo. I think they replace "Fecal Occult Blood Count" with "Blue Oyster Cult".

    Relaxing humor over, back to serious discussion.

    earl
    Quoting Larry the Cable Guy! "Now that there is funny! Get her done!!!"

    Nice job Earl

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLY4420 View Post
    HOWEVER, if I desperately needed fire apparatus to safely protect our firefighters and our community, I would do whatever I was asked to get the funds. If they want us to take a yearly refresher in exchange for $275,000...yeah, I'll do that.
    While I agree with you to a point, there simply would be no possible way we could afford to sustain the annual physicals. As I said earlier, when I do the math, if we could afford the physicals, we could afford the tanker ourselves. I think FEMA found a loophole to reduce the # of apparatus they have to award..... because if you say you can afford the physicals beyond the 1st year (they will only fund the 1st initial year), then they can say you can afford to purchase the vehicle yourself within a few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by befferk View Post
    While I agree with you to a point, there simply would be no possible way we could afford to sustain the annual physicals. As I said earlier, when I do the math, if we could afford the physicals, we could afford the tanker ourselves. I think FEMA found a loophole to reduce the # of apparatus they have to award..... because if you say you can afford the physicals beyond the 1st year (they will only fund the 1st initial year), then they can say you can afford to purchase the vehicle yourself within a few years.
    I don't think it is a "loophole." Governments make grants for things they like (education, CDBG, AFG, and with the grant they get you to do those things). They place taxes on things they don't like to limit them.

    Would you be happier if they said everyone has to have a 1582 physical every year as a mandate without carrots (like shiny red new fire engines)? Because that is the alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geinandputitout View Post
    I don't think it is a "loophole." Governments make grants for things they like (education, CDBG, AFG, and with the grant they get you to do those things). They place taxes on things they don't like to limit them.

    Would you be happier if they said everyone has to have a 1582 physical every year as a mandate without carrots (like shiny red new fire engines)? Because that is the alternative.
    Maybe loophole was a bad word, but my point was that they are making it more difficult for volunteer departments to get a truck grant. Do I think the physicals are a good thing in theory? You bet. I want to feel confident that the person I'm going into a burning building with isn't going to drop dead of a heart attack. Is it feasible for all departments? No. Money is the language being spoken here. In a perfect world training would be done without having to worry about money. I think you really misinterpreted my post.

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    Our volunteer department partners with our County Fire Rescue to piggy back on their firefighter medical exam contract, which we thought was a smart way to keep costs down. The $400 exams are very comprehensive, but what I've heard here makes me wonder if they are up to NFPA 1582 standards.
    I would sure appreciate a copy of the NFPA 1582 requirements to check against the contract. - Help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by befferk View Post
    Maybe loophole was a bad word, but my point was that they are making it more difficult for volunteer departments to get a truck grant. Do I think the physicals are a good thing in theory? You bet. I want to feel confident that the person I'm going into a burning building with isn't going to drop dead of a heart attack. Is it feasible for all departments? No. Money is the language being spoken here. In a perfect world training would be done without having to worry about money. I think you really misinterpreted my post.
    I know of an individual who went and had a stress test done and was given a clean bill of health. He died of a heart attack on the way home from having the test. Do any of us really know??

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    Sounds like the Federal Government wants to put the volunteer departments out of business!

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    ARE YOU SERIOUS????? so where can we get these physicals done??? and how much are they? and can we add that cost to our grant?? and what if some dont pass the physical what does that mean?

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