Physicals ordered for Virginia volunteer firefighters
The News & Messenger
March 27, 2009

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors has passed an
ordinance ordering mandatory physicals for volunteer

The decision comes after the November death of Dale City
Volunteer EMT,
44-year-old Cecilia Turnbough.

She collapsed and died during a training exercise.

The death was attributed to a previously undiagnosed heart
according to a February report issued by the Prince William
Department of Fire and Rescue.

Kevin J. McGee, chief of the department, is a strong
supporter of requiring
the mandatory health checks for volunteer firefighters, said
Liz Barhns,
Prince William County spokeswoman.

Until recently only career firefighters, who operate as
county employees,
were subject to physicals.

Fire departments across the county have been asked to submit
plans as to how
they will facilitate the medical screenings.

The emergency ordinance will be active for 60 days, after
which time members
of the Prince William Fire and Rescue Association has an
opportunity to vote
the requirement to be permanent.

McGee also serves as the chairman of that association.

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I think its great and I wish every department in the US would go to something like this.
Should be mandatory for all Firefighters. Yearly. Most do this annually anyhow.
It is a good idea, everyone should do this.
Unless the medical examination includes a stress echocardiogram (which I highly doubt) then "previously undiagnosed heart conditions" are going to remain undiagnosed. Even so, I think there have been cases where FFs who had recently had passed a stress test have suffered cardiac events on the job.

Other than this caveat, I think the physicals are a great step forward. We recently began a program that requires all members to have physicals.
They are done at my dept. yearly and are mandatory for all firefighters. Its a good thing to have.
just one more step in making sure that we all are capable of doing the job. Sounds great to me. be careful out there
It helps take care of us maybe find something wrong.......................should have been done a longtime ago.
I think its important and am trying to accomplish this in my own fd. Right now all you need is pyhisical to start your 36hr basic.
I think it shuld be mandatory for all fire and ems. I just took one yesterday for my haz-mat team. Its good to know your condition
I think it should happen. Most vollies I know (including myself) are extremely out of shape. I don't see a problem with having to get physicals at least once a yr.
Not only should they have to pass a medical, they should have to "at least" pass a walk-thru of whatever their departments agility exam is, C-PAT or otherwise. I know of very few departments that do this, however, it should be manditory. i'm sure as in most cases the reason is money. As far as the agility exam, I have no problem with firefighters doing it on their own time as a job condition. Yes, you would still be covered by workmans comp...but I see no reason why if we "require" young candidate to not only be able to pass it, but also pay for it themselves, why paid firefighters can't do the same. If you work for a small department, or a vollie company...set up your own exam that is as close to C-PAT or whatever else you want. All I'm asking for is a WALK THRU....doesnt have to be olympic times! If ya can't do it....Ya shouldnt be out there!

Remember that old football coach we had...I can hear his voice in my ears...

"Dammit...practice how you would play in a game"
"Train as if your life depends on it...IT DOES"
We used to 'sorta' do this. Before the C-PAT, we had a physical agility test. But to legitimize it, we had to do it before the candidates did. If you have a test that your employees can't even do, then you open yourself up to being sued.

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