I'm 43 yrs old, overweight and out of shape. The fire dept. that I am an exploer post associate adviser for has asked me to join. They say I would be a great addision to the dept. With my 21 yrs as a truck driver with tanker endorsment I would be the ideal person for a tanker driver. It's something I have always wanted, but I'm not sure  what to do considering my age and shape.

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Get a medical evaluation first, whether you are to be a driver/operator or suppression firefighter. Either task requires physical exertion. Follow NFPA 1582 medical requirements.
kudo;s mr bart regan it's an honor to serve with you

If I took your comments as disdain for the vollies incorrectly, I'll be the first one to apologize and reevaluate. As I said in my post, I agree with the majority of what you wrote and know to well that some among the vollies are everything you've mentioned and feared.
If you are going to drive then that's what you will be doing. You won't be on the rit team because you job is at the truck. If you are a driver then that's where you stay at the pump panel. Like I said before my cousin is the chief at a vol dept and his best friend vol there and my god he is freaking huge I'm talking 400 pounds his job is driver / mechanic. The funny thing is he has this big sticker on the back of his truck that says bad ass FF.
One more update. lost 30lbs I'm halfway through my fire one class. Had a phsycial, stress test everything is normal. Working on losing more weight and shaping up. I have alot of support from my family and my Dept. Work, work, work, study, study, study!
I have served with guys and gals in their 20's who were so out of shape they were scary on the fire scene. I have also worked with guys and gals in their 60's-80's who were able to function very well. For one thing, they knew their limitations and didn't try to exceed them.
As for me, I resigned from active firefighting when my physical disability became such that I could not function adequatley on scene. i do, however, continue to serve as a chaplain.

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