Fitness for Work Evaluation of Firefighters in Tehran
Firefighting is extremely strenuous and physically demanding work and involves ability to cope with emergency life-or-death situations. Because of the high physical demands of firefighting, successful job performance and minimizing of morbidity and mortality depends on fitness for duty. The firefighting department of Tehran does not perform periodic medical assessment for firefighters. The aim of this study was to evaluate medical fitness among firefighters in Tehran. In this cross sectional study we examined 147 firefighters. Medical and occupational history obtained by interview, then we performed physical examination, blood tests, ECG, spirometry and audiometry. Then results compared with guidelines for firefighters in the USA, Australia and the United Kingdom. Seven percent of our participants had a kind of pulmonary dysfunction and 25% had some degrees of hearing loss. A considerable percent of them had modifiable coronary heart disease risk factors. Thirteen participitants were unfit for this job that among them; ten firefighters were unfit based on vision capability, one case due to hypertention and two cases because of pulmonary dysfunction. Because of hazardouse nature of firefighting; preplacement, periodic medical evaluations and assesment of fitness for firefighters in Iran is highly recommended. Establishment of fitness criteria for firefighters in Iran is necessery to perform assigned functions safely.
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