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December Roundtable: Mandatory Medical Monitoring for Firefighters

By John "Skip" Coleman At one time, when I was a line firefighter and officer, I smoked more than three packs a day. There were a few times in my career that I can recall being taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation (remember, this was prior to any mandatory self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) policy in my department.) As I waited to the ambulance for transport, I would have another cigarette!  How things have changed. I quit smoking cold turkey in 1988. I wrote the mandatory SCBA policy--which still is in effect--for our department that same year. Later, we amended the policy to state that in addition to the mandatory use of SCBA, firefighters are now required to...

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