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Firefighter / EMT Career?

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by KarenRI, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. KarenRI

    KarenRI Approved members

    Jul 18, 2007
    My 20 year old son was diagnosed with T1 at age 9. In the last several months, he's wanted to make a big change and go to school for EMT and Fire Science. We just found out, per NFPA Article 1582, section 6.18.1 that having Diabetes mellitus and being insulin dependent disqualifies him from meeting the requirements to become a firefighter, and not being able to obtain a CDL might hinder his chance at being an EMT.

    Does anyone know anything different? We're devastated. We thought he was limited to not flying commercial airliners and not being able to serve in the military. :frown:

    Thank you.
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    I just googled "type 1 firefighters" and came up with a bunch of articles about people with type 1 working in the field as well as articles detailing recent (past 8 years) clarifications of medical disqualification rules to permit Type 1's with A1cs under 8... between that and the ADA and I find it hard to believe that the door is actually closed to folks with Type 1. It's certainly the first I've heard of it. Even restrictions on commercial airline pilots are being lifted/loosened.
  3. kim5798

    kim5798 Approved members

    May 7, 2009
    I know of a young man a little older than my daughter who IS a firefighter with Los Angeles Fire Department. He is a counselor/volunteer at my daughters diabetes camp. He spoke to a group of parents/kids last time we were there & was talking about his regimen....he keeps his bloodsugar control very tight. He had to push to get approved, but he is a fireman. It can be done.
  4. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    My cousin is an EMT and volunteer fire fighter in Northern California, he's a T1. I don't know if he had to jump any hurdles.
  5. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Nov 8, 2012
    I was an EMT and then paramedic during college. I was able to drive but I did not need a CDL for the agency I worked for (I believe that is a state by state thing, I was at a large private agency that handled 911 calls for a huge rural area). The biggest hurdle by far was my age because I was the youngest paramedic at the agency I worked for and it was much more expensive and difficult to insure me to drive (they ended up having me not drive until I was 21). I did disclose my diabetes in the process of getting insurance and clearance for driving and I don't remember it being an issue at all. The HR department where I worked handled everything.
  6. msschiel

    msschiel Approved members

    Oct 21, 2013
    My dad has been a fire fighter for years and has been a diabetic since he was nearly 11 years old. He doesn't go to as many fires to help fight since he has other issues (knee replacement and arthritis), but he never had a problem and was never told he couldn't be a fireman. It is volunteer, so I am not sure if that makes a difference or not. We live in PA, so I am not sure if fireman have to have a CDL to drive a firetruck or not.

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