Can you be a firefighter with eyesight issues, colour blindness or previous eye surgery?

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Eyesight standards for firefighters are as follows and it is to the standard for LGV (Group 2) driver requirements and to National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) standards:

  • the minimum uncorrected vision for trainees should be 6/18 in the better eye and 6/24 in the worse eye
  • corrected visual acuity should be 6/7.5 in the better eye and a minimum of 6/12 in the worse eye
  • an upper hypermetropic limit of +3.00
  • ability to read N12 at 30cm unaided with both eyes open (applicants aged 25 and over)
  • ability to read N6 at 30cm unaided with both eyes open (applicants under 25 years of age)
  • no history of night blindness or any ocular disease that is likely to progress and result in future failure of the visual standards for firefighters.

You must also pass a test to see if you are colour-blind.

Laser Eye Surgery Standards

If you have had eye laser surgery, you must wait 6-12 months before applying to allow for stabilisation.

If you have undergone laser eye surgery, a report should be requested from the treating ophthalmologist to include the following details:

  • confirmation that the eye has returned to normal and that there is no significant loss of corneal transparency over the pupil area
  • confirmation that there is no keratectasia
  • details of their pre-operative refractive error and any complications that may have occurred during or following the procedure with confirmation that the post-operative corneal thickness does not put them at increased risk from indirect trauma or from rubbing the eyes
  • confirmation that they do not have significant sensitivity to scattered light and that they retain good low-light performance.