There is so much information out there on medical pre-screening. First I would reference the NFPA guidelines on Medical physicals. I wrote an article on this for Fire Engineering and it includes:
ENTRY MEDICAL TESTING - The NFPA maintains standards that address health issues related to firefighters: NFPA 1500, whose key elements focus on the comprehensive wellness and fitness program; NFPA 1582 outline key elements that focus on fire department medical physicals and also provide for a Health and Fitness Coordinator, Health and Safety Officer Infection Control Officer and Health and Safety Committee and NFPA 1583 key elements focus on fire department fitness programs. All of these standards are periodically updated to meeting the increasing challenges of firefighter safety with common sense, science and technology.
ENTRY PHYSICAL TESTING – I suggest CPAT. It is comprehensive and does not discriminate against your firefighter candidates. This is a pass fail, essential elements of the job testing standard. It’s been legally challenged once and passed the legal litmus test.
PEER FITNESS PROGRAMS - In order to combat these needless deaths; fire departments have created local fitness programs to address this issues formulating and promoting the Wellness Fitness Initiative Guidelines; departments are training peer fitness trainers; purchasing fitness equipment for the fire stations; encouraging fitness programs on duty; are urging our firefighter to eat better, not to smoke and evaluate their risk factors and finally participate in a medical evaluation program. You need to get two to three firefighters trained in this arena so each shift has a Peer Fitness consultant.
ANNUAL OR PERIODIC MEDICAL EVALUATIONS - Departments should encourage every firefighter over the age of 40 to get a comprehensive medical annual medical evaluation from a physician following those standards found in NFPA 1582. Engage in programs that detect those preventable and correctible conditions of hypertension; diabetes; coronary artery disease, colon cancer, prostate disease, asthma and other career and life ending conditions. Get into the gym and start a comprehensive cardiac and strength building program following the guidelines found in NFPA 1583.
I suggest that in the age range from age 20 – 30 get two medical physicals during this 10 year period. From age 30 – 40 get three medical physicals in this ten year period from age 40 – 50 get four medical physicals over this ten year period and over age 50 get annual medical physicals
FITNESS TESTING – there are gobs of tests for this and I would work with your local exercise physiologist if you have a university by you but if not, look at cardiovascular fitness and recovery time, overall strength and fitness (not superman or superwoman) and flexibility. Look on the internet for fitness testing and enlist the aid of a local physician who may also help in this arena
PHYSICIAN – I suggest that you hook up with an occupational medical physician who knows what firefighters to for a living. If there are none of those available, I suggest a good general practitioner or internist. These physicians will assist you in ongoing health issues to include immunizations, return to work policies, evaluations of injured firefighters and provide an educated resource as to long term effects of your job.
FINALLY - Eat better, quit smoking, wear your seat belt, and pay attention to yourself as you only get one life. It’s about the quality of life and not the quantity.