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

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:

  • Corrected visual acuity should be 6/7.5 in the good eye and 6/12 in the worse eye
  • uncorrected vision for trainees should be 6/36 binocularly (both eyes)
  • an upper hypermetropic limit of +3.00
  • ability to read N12 letters at 30cm unaided (applicants aged 25 and over)
  • ability to read N6 at 30cm unaided (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.
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