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I want to be a firefighter...

Hello all,

My name is Rommel. I am 25yrs. old, I had my first seizure when I was 9 or 10. had around 10 episodes in my lifetime. I always wanted to be a hero and thats why I want to be a firefighter.

I have my B.S in Fire Protection Technology and Administration graduated a fire academy, worked a season as a wildland firefighter for the United Stated Forest Service and going back to school from my EMT-B. I am currently working for a fire department as a Fire Prevention assistant.

My ultimate goal is to be a fireghter but the last episode I had was almost two years ago. I am currently taking depakote for my E.

Last time I checked fire departments must  meet the NFPA standards or be more stringent.

 NFPA 1582 states that a candidate must be seizure free for 1 year off meds or seizure free with meds for 5 yrs.

Does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom?


Just a couple of questions, have you had an abnormal EEG, abnormal MRI? What type of epilepsy were you diagnosed with?  Talk to your neuro and discuss your options.  From what I have read in studies, most people have to be seizure free for 5-7 years before they decide to go off their meds and that is if they have a diagnosed form of epilepsy of a known cause (i.e. a brain injury), if its idiopathic there may be a chance that person is on meds their entire life.  I know where your coming from, I have had maybe 6-8 generalized tonic clonic seizures in my life, all tests came out normal.  I haven't had a seizure in about 2 1/2 years, I am in nursing school and its really hard with the drug side effects and asked if I could be taken off my meds, but my doc said I probably have to be on meds for the rest of my life.  Everyone's situation is different, talk to your doctor, let he/she know your goals, and see where it goes.  Best of Luck!

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