It is for the Fire Authority’s Occupational Health Physician to decide whether an individual is fit to undertake firefighting duties, allowing for any reasonable adjustments that may be made in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Minimum eyesight standards must be met. Corrected visual acuity should be 6/9 binocularly, and a minimum of 6/12 in the worse eye. The minimum uncorrected vision for recruits should be 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 for the worse. There is an upper hypermetropic (long-sighted) limit of +3.00, and colour vision must reach the required standard.
Hearing and lung function will also be tested and you will undergo screening for use of illegal drugs and alcohol misuse as part of your medical.
If you have any of the following conditions you should consider carefully whether the nature of the work and the attendance pattern, (which includes the possibility of very long hours at major incidents), would be detrimental to your health:
- Significant joint injury or disease, especially if it affects the back or knees.
- A chronic respiratory problem, e.g. asthma.
- A history of hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, cardiac or circulatory disease.
- Contact dermatitis, psoriasis or eczema.
- Vertigo, claustrophobia or acrophobia (fear of heights).
Your medical records from your General Practitioner will be required, for which you will be asked to give consent at the appropriate time.
You will also be required to undergo a Chester Step Test. The Chester Step Test is a 12 minute graded, treadmill walk test designed to assess whether or not a candidate can achieve the firefighter fitness standard of 42mls O 2 /kg/min.