Frequently Asked Questions
- What classes require Medical Clearance for students?
- Firefighter I (FIRE-101)
- Firefighter II (FIRE-201)
- Marine Firefighting for Land-Based Firefighters (FIRE-203)
- Firefighter Survival and Rescue (FIRE-206)
- Aircraft Rescue Firefighter (FIRE-230)
- Hazardous Materials Technician (HM-201)
- Interior Structural Industrial Fire Brigade Member (IND-222)
- Rescue Technician: Confined Space Rescue (RES-202)
- Rescue Technician: Trench Rescue (RES-206)
- Rescue Technician: Structural Collapse (RES-209)
- Rescue Technician: Swiftwater Rescue (RES-213)
- What is meant by "Medical Clearance"?
Medical clearance is written verification from a physician or other licensed health care professional that a student is medically capable of performing the required physical duties. Forms will be provided that you can take to your physician or other licensed health care professional that list, in detail, the physical duties so he/she can more easily make this determination.
- Can I utilize a physician's assistant or someone other a medical doctor to provide medical clearance?
Yes, in addition to a medical doctor, other examples of licensed health care professionals include: doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O), nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.
- I get annual physicals examinations from my fire service organization. Is this sufficient?
Medical clearance can be obtained in two (2) main ways:
- Departmental physicals - For those students who currently undergo regular physical examinations within their own fire service organization, the Information Release form (Appendix B Part 1) and the Verification form (Appendix B Part 2) may be utilized. Appendix B authorizes the student's department to notify the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute regarding their physical. Appendix C Part 2 is completed by the fire service organization and confirms that the student has had a physical examination and been determined to be fit for duty.
- Personal physicals - Students may have their personal physician or other licensed health care professional complete the Medical Release form in Appendix C. This form describes the physical duties for the student and then has the physician or other licensed health care professional attest that the student is medically capable of performing these duties.
- I had a physical exam last year from my personal physician. Is that still good?
Your medical clearance must not be more than three (3) years old from the beginning of your class, provided your health care condition has not changed. If you are seeking medical clearance from a physical that was conducted some time ago, you will still need to have the Medical Release form in Appendix C completed by your physician or other licensed health care professional. It will be up to your personal physician or other licensed health care professional as to whether he/she will sign the form based upon a physical that was performed sometime ago.
- Am I expected to have medical clearance on the first day of my class?
Yes. You should obtain your medical clearance as soon as possible.
- Will I be reimbursed for the expense of any exam necessary to obtain my medical clearance?
Maybe - first, you must have undergone an examination and have documentation that provides proof of your payment. Second, you must successfully complete the class. Finally, you must complete a form that attests that your request was a valid expenditure which will not be reimbursed by any other source (insurance, etc.). If approved, you may be approved to be reimbursed for up to $75.00.
- I am currently obtaining medical clearance to take Firefighter I and plan to take Firefighter II next year. Will I have to get medical clearance again for my Firefighter II class?
Your medical clearance must not be more than three (3) years old from the beginning of your class, provided your health condition has not changed.
- What happens if my medical condition changes after I receive medical clearance?
You must advise your instructor of any change(s) to your physical condition that may affect your ability to use self contained breathing apparatus or conduct strenuous or hazardous training. This is very important!