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Medical Exam

I have just begun the process to change careers and become a firefighter by taking an introductory course in Fire Technology. I am a physically fit 30 year old and currently I am running between 15-20 miles per week. I have a Bachelor Degree and my work experiences include being a funeral director and a crime scene investigator for a large urban Medical Examiner's Office. I have been told that my age, college degree and diverse work experinces will help with obtaining my goal of being hired. I have one concern with regards to the medical exam. At birth I was diagnosed with a heart murmur. It isn't a problem now nor has it been in the past. Can anyone please provide me with some information?

Thanks in advance!

This message was edited by dramsey on 1-22-03 @ 12:48 PM

I checked with my Dad on this one for you. He has been a Cardiologist for 35 years. Here is what he said verbatim.
Many heart murmurs are functional. They are not related to heart disease. These may be heard on some occasions but not all. Murmurs that are due to damaged valves or abnormal connections between chambers of the heart.
Damaged valves may either sticky, leaky or a combination thereof. They are the result of congenital abnormality or Rheumatic Fever.
These valves may not be serious at his time but may progress to something more serious down the road.
I know that with the American?s With Disabilities Act (ADA) cities and counties are reluctant to ?discriminate? against you for medical reasons.
I have a very good friend who applied for a firefighter position with a city in Orange County. The city doctor failed him on a medical exam. He was told he had a lifting restriction of 25# due to Arthritis in his back. He went to a specialist, at his own expense (Orthopedic Surgeon) who wrote him a letter stating that he was OK and met the requirements to be a firefighter.
On a side note, he is now a firefighter on my department. His back was never questioned by our city doc. Go figure
Check with your doctor and see what his thoughts are. Ask him if he sees any reason why you could not be a firefighter. Lastly, ask him if he would write you a letter stating such. I hope this helps.

Paul Lepore

dramsey--I was diagnosed with heart murmur when I was a kid--the result of scarlet/rheumatic fever when I was a baby. I never even thought about this until I had to fill out the four-page medical questionnaire. When I did the EKG test, there was no abnormality at all, although I still had to disclose it on the form. No problem passing the medical.

Thanks for the information! My murmur has never even been something that has concerned me until I began to prepare for this career change. It was always just something that was there in the back of my mind. I am very active and have performed strenuous work before with no problem. This helps to set my mind at ease. I look forward to joining the ranks with America's Firefigters. Thanks again!