Phyiscals for Brookfield Volunteer Firefighters will be paid for by the town. The Board of Selectmen voted this week to send a $35,000 funding request to the Board of Finance. The physicals are required annually by OSHA.
First Selectman Steve Dunn says for the past 35 years Brookfield Family Medicine gave each firefighter a physical, free of charge. But the practice was bought by Western Connecticut Health Network and can no longer offer the service.
The Fire Department went out and got three bids. Dunn says it wouldn't be fair to ask the volunteers to take on the cost of the specialized medical screening. He predicts that if the town doesn't pick up the cost, Brookfield will lose firefighters because they won't pay another $350 to do volunteer work.
There are about 100 volunteer firefighters in Brookfield.
The exam goes above and beyond a routine annual physical because it includes chest x-rays, checks the ability to breath and do firefighting work. Dunn notes that this protects the town and gives Brookfield less liability exposure. As a volunteer's yearly exam date approaches, if Brookfield officials don't approve this funding, the firefighter won't be able to respond to incidents.
The money would come from the town's Contingency Fund or be a Special Appropriation.