Firefighters Won’t Have To Battle The Bulge To Battle Blazes

April 30, 2013

The House rejected an amendment on Monday that would have required firefighters to watch their body mass index if they wanted to keep their job. In a voice vote, the House rejected the amendment that would have required all firefighters to keep their BMI at 25 or under.

Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, proposed firefighters have their BMI tested every four years as an additional requirement to existing physical agility testing.

“Right now we’ve got firefighters who are physically fit, with a BMI of 25 or less, that are being asked to do above and beyond the work of those who are not able to do it,” Adkins said.

But a number of representatives expressed concern about the BMI rating system because it doesn’t calculate fitness of individuals, and can be misleading, particularly with highly muscular people. BMI divides an individual’s weight in pounds by height in inches squared and then multiplied by 703. A rating below 18.5 is deemed underweight, from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight. A 5-foot, 9-inch person is considered overweight when weighing between 169 pounds and 202 pounds.

The amendment was proposed for a measure that refines the duties of the State Fire Marshal, and among other changes would make it a felony to impersonate a volunteer firefighter. No final vote was taken on the underlying bill; that is expected on Tuesday.

By The News Service of Florida


2 Responses to “Firefighters Won’t Have To Battle The Bulge To Battle Blazes”

  1. mic hall on April 30th, 2013 3:40 pm

    BMI should have nothing to do with it. Like Vulcanrider said its inaccurate.

    The best choice is an athletic test- EVERY YEAR! lift, carry, climb,… things that a Firefighter is going to need to be able to do.

    Does anyone really want an out of shape Firefighter trying to rescue you and not being able to… worse needing to be rescued themselves?

    A person CAN have a low BMI and still be to weak to do what is needed.

  2. Vulcanrider on April 30th, 2013 12:37 pm

    We gotta get off this BMI kick, it’s totally inaccurate and tells you nothing about the real condition of the individual, like mentioned in the article. Using the math I found this: 6′4″ tall and 270 pounds yields a BMI of 32.8 meaning that indiivdual isn’t simply overweight, but obese. That person is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, in case you’re wondering…