Who better to ask a question about a specific health issue's impact on a medical exam than a doctor who's thoroughly familiar with the components of the exam?
Now, through the Open Forum on the IAFC's KnowledgeNet, IAFC members may post general questions about different aspects of annual medical exams—as outlined in NFPA 1582 and the IAFF/IAFC Wellness-Fitness Initiative—and receive responses from a working group of fire-department physicians in about two working days.
The initiative is a result of the work of the IAFC's Medical Evaluation Task Force, which recommended such a program in their 2011 Mega Issue Responses Report.
While certainly not exhaustive, examples of some issues that may arise for fire departments about medical evaluations include:
- Active duty with prosthetic limbs
- Clarification of VO2 max testing protocols
- Fitness for duty
- Cardiac conditions
- Seizure history
- Monocular vision
- Recommended tests for inclusion in the annual medical exam
Because questions are posted to the Open Forum, questions and responses will create an ongoing collection of common questions and answers as well as allow others to share their own success stories, model policies, etc. Because KnowlegeNet is only open to IAFC members, it offers a forum for discrete—though not confidential—conversations about sensitive issues.
The IAFC is proud to offer this new source of expertise to our members. Many thanks to the physicians who have offered to participate.
New to KnowlegeNet?
KnowlegeNet is a robust online community for IAFC members only. The site provides the capability to discuss issues with IAFC members, build relationships and contacts (for example, you can add FD Physicians to your contacts), share documents and more. The IAFC's Open Forum allows anyone to post about (almost) anything at anytime. Members may also create small groups around specific topics and interests.
Every member has automatic access to the site. The first time you visit the site, you'll need to activate your existing account using the same information you use to log into the IAFC website.
Ann Davison, CAE, is the strategic information manager for the IAFC.