Local News

WE WANT TO KNOW Is BMI 25 too fat to fight a fire?

SEBRING The House rejected an amendment by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, setting a maximum body mass index of 25 for firefighters. "It's good for public safety," she argued. "Firefighters need to be fit. Stamina and cardiovascular fitness are a must to be able to perform this tough job." Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, said BMI can be subjective and misleading, particularly for people who are muscular. BMI divides weight by height inches squared, multiplied by 703. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight. Rep. Mike Clelland, R-Maitland, whose BMI is probably over 26, was a good firefighter for many years. He said the measure would unfairly affect chiefs and deskbound firefighters.

Should firefighters, police officers and other public servants maybe even state legislators have a body mass index of under 25? Are a current or former firefighter?

Senior Reporter Gary Pinnell is writing about the issue. If you can contribute to the story, please email gpinnell@highlandstoday.com