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Home / WLF TheySaid / DOI bloodtesting firefighters

  • 07/30/2015
  • styxfire

The DOI is implementing blood-testing of its firefighters, in a phased-in approach. Other tests include vision, hearing, heart, weight, breathing, etc. Firefighters are getting disqualified for many reasons, mainly because of what they revealed on the initial written exam.

The judging process is described here: https://www.nifc.gov/medical_standards/
However, the written standards aren’t available there. You have to request a copy of the written standards.

I failed my test on 2 metrics, so have been stripped of all my arduous career quals:
#1 Fail: an optional sleep medication I was prescribed a couple days prior to the exam, but have not yet started.
#2 Fail: a doc visit for knee pain 4 years ago, which the doc advised wasn’t bad enough for surgery

The written standards avoid saying what medications are allowed vs disallowed…it is vague and open to interpretation. Other issues are being flagged on a surprising basis. People in primary firefighter positions are losing their quals they must possess to keep their job. Their only option is to show past competency performing those skills despite what the WLFF doctors say.

People in secondary firefighter positions are losing their arduous quals. Our only option now is to reveal our entire medical history to the overarching decision-maker.

DOI Firefighters are under a tremendous, unethical, non-transparent attack. Please do not comply with any forms they force you to fill out. These forms appear to be non-legal. They suggest you need to provide info to them VOLUNTARILY. Please don’t make the same stupid mistake we did…our crew filled out the form, tricked into thinking we were volunteers, when really we were guinea pigs and now everyone in our chain of command and HR chain of command knows everything about our medical history. And most of that history had nothing to do with work. So if you’re DOI and you fill out their form, fill out NOTHING except 1 box, perhaps childhood surgery. Don’t admit to taking any adult med. In fact, taper off all meds completely, to the best of your ability, prior to the blood test. YOU DO NOT WANT THE HASTLE THIS ASSESSMENT WILL CAUSE YOU!!

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  1. Lucky Lindy
    July 31, 2015 Reply

    I couldnt agree more, (Be very careful of what you voluatarily write down on those forms)

    I just got my results back and was given a (Not Qualified) rating. I had put on the general form that I get shortness of breath. I shouldn’t have done this.
    I am 52 Years old, 5’11” 170# non smoker, good overall health, however after being a professional welder and now 26 years of firefighting I have sucked my fair share of smoke. My IQCS report shows over 300 wildfires and 300 plus RX burns. I would expect myself to be short of breath when exercising.

    Anyway hopefully it is not all bad, we will see what the waiver process brings. Sounds like they just want me to take a Stress Test and Cardiology Evaluation.

    1. Lucky Lindy
      August 3, 2015 Reply

      I dug into my report a little furthur as to why I was deemed (Not Qualified). The clinic or CHS had put someone elses pulminay test instead of mine in my documents. This person had tested the day before me, was a smoker and had the lungs of a 70 year old. He was 58 years old. I am 52 years old.

      Either way my lung test was not good, but hopefully this will clear things up.

      Lessons #1 “Do not volunteer any additional information”

      #2 “Look at your report closely to make sure someone elses tests are not misplaced in your report”.

  2. Lucky Lindy
    August 6, 2015 Reply

    I just got Re-evaluated yesterday and was given a “Qualified” rating to fight fires. What a releif after 26 years of firefighting and less than 2 years from retirement. My clinic here mistakenly inserted someone elses lung test in my CHS fire physical. The report had the other persons name, age, birth date on the top of the page, he was born 6 years before me, was a smoker and had the lungs of a 70 year old. I am quite miffed that the CHS doctor evaluating my records did not notice this, especially due to the fact that it was this other persons report “Not Mine” that gave me a “Not Qualified” rating.

    Thanks to the people at NIFC who over see the contractors and riding herd on them (CHS) during this trying time for me. They were very supportive of me, took this seriously and even called me back on the phone to tell me I had passed.

    Lesson #1 repeated.

    If you are deemed “Not Qualified” ask for the electronic copy of your whole medical evaluation/physical. I did this and noticed another persons records had somehow been inserted instead of mine. Had I not done this, I would have started going through the waiver process and would have had to pay for this myself becuase the report had me listed as a multiple pack a day smoker.

    FYI: “CHS” Also contracts physical fitness for Tower Climbers, so it may not even be a fire fighter whose medical records got misplaced into my evaluation.

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