I have seen some of the guys wear their air packs with glasses ,must have the good seal .. Contacts yea I don't know they dry up pretty fast,but I am sure you can.... so here is my wishy washy answer from what little I do know about this dissussion...
Los Angeles City FD Vision Requirements: Uncorrected distance visual acuity of at least 20/100 in one eye and 20/40 in the other eye is required. Correctable distance visual acuity of at least 20/40 in the poorer eye and 20/20 in the other eye is also required. Candidates must also meet the City's color vision standard.
Dallas FD Vision Requirements: Vision (20/40 in one eye & 20/100 in the other eye correctable to 20/20 and 20/40)
Since I was hired, more and more people are competing to get the badge... As a result, some of the requirements including the vision component have also gotten more stringent. As I looked at other departments requirements, it appears that they are all pretty much the same as noted in the above examples. You do have other options which are simple to identify if you use google and type in fd vision requirements. If there is a specific department that you want to get hired by, then of course look them up. All of this depends on how bad you want the job. I came across this blog from a firefighter in 2004 that was trying to get hired by FDNY.
"When I took my medical in July, i wore my contacts that day. But as i was about to take the eye exam there was a sing that said " Anyone caught using contacts will be taken off the list automatically" after reading that i was scared as ****, so i took them off. During the eye exam, the person giving the eye exam told me " im not going to fail anyone, for trying to get this job", so i figured i was golden. After the exam, you have to wait in line to meet the doctor who evaluates your exam results. He told me that I failed the eye exam and need a 20/40 to pass (i had 20/50) so basically he was saying if i didnt have 20/40 I was going to be taken off the list, and with a list # of 776, i wasn't going to screw that up. So the only way to get the vision of 20/40 was lasik. The following week i was in the surgery room getting my eyes corrected.
If your looking to get the lasik, its well worth it, the very next day i had 20/20 vision. I was able to get it at a decent price totaling $1900. If your interested, look on the internet for Dr. rosenblum, his prices are good and the service was excellent.
I reccommend that you get it done so that you dont have problems in the furture. Imagine running into a burning building with plastic contacts on, not a good sight, literally."
Best of luck with working towards realizing your dreams!
I don't know how it is in your area, but here in Chicagoland, contact lenses do not preclude you from being hired as a Firefighter. I've been doing this job for 14 years, with glasses. (I won't wear contacts because touching my eyeball is the ONE thing that freaks me out!) However, they make special eyeglass frames to fit inside your SCBA mask. Or you could simply wear your contacts under your mask. Hope this helps...stay safe!