KEY WEST, Fla. — The city of Key West is better off settling a worker's compensation claim with a 380-pound retired firefighter rather than risk paying 15 times that if the man suffers a heart attack, according to a city attorney.
Wilmer Bringle, 58, a Key West firefighter who retired in 2011 after 30 years on the job, has agreed to settle for $30, 000, which includes $3, 700 for his lawyer and $1, 500 for other costs.
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Emily ReynekeTuesday, February 05, 2013 1:35:18 PM6'1" 380 pounds....they are lucky he didn't have a heart attack on the job.
Jason BrazinskiTuesday, February 05, 2013 1:50:24 PMUnfortunately this is the "catch 22" of the heart and lung bill. I'm very thankful to have its protection but on the other hand you have an element of public safety workers that are no better than the general population when it comes to taking care of themselves. While working in the profession they realize that their obesity/eating habits/sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use are all major risk factors but they make a voluntary and selfish choice to engage in these behaviors which ultimately will have a negative impact on all of us (aka losing the heart and lung bill). Typical of what's destroying this country...everyone wants the freedom to do what they want but then want someone else to pick up the pieces when it all comes crashing down.
Mark PollackTuesday, February 05, 2013 2:42:52 PM26 year career Firefighter, I was denied Heart Lung Bill coverage following heart valve replacement.
George KettermanTuesday, February 05, 2013 4:19:13 PMAt what point do we hold the individual responsible for their own health issues? Just because the bill is in place doesnt mean it should be abused!
Dan DellaniniTuesday, February 05, 2013 6:04:47 PMFirefighter for 10 years. Most of the Brothers I have the honor to work with understand the physical and mental requirements of the job. There are a select few in every department that reach a point in thier career wbere they would rather run calls from the recliner while feasting on a bowl of pasta. Its disgusting and tarnishes the image of your department and the profession as a whole. At 350 lbs a firefighter is endangering the life of his crew by not being able to perform the necessary tasks for the required duration....not to mention injuring your Brothers and Sisters because they had to break thier backs trying to drag you out of a hazardous environment. Its long past the time for departme ts to have minimum duty sta.dards that are the equivalent of the job we do and if you dont make the cut, thanks for playing. If Key West had this in place they could have cut thier losses with this guy years ago without envoking the HL bill
Alan D. MorganWednesday, February 06, 2013 4:20:09 PMI get sick of folks being so down on obese people, yes, some can help it and some struggle very badly with attempting to control their weight and the illnesses that accelerate it. If you get cancer would you like it if I posted here maybe you should have eaten much healthier foods and kept your self healthier as you are dying and suffering frorm your cancer? NO, of course not! Some people get illnesses and then gain weight, but not everyone automatically is a lazy slob because they are obese either. I've seen a lot of tiny skinny runts have difficulty doing the job through my career too, you know! So get off our fat lazy behinds as we have enough problems carrying out own weight, pun intended! I'm just happy for you folks out there who don't struggle with your weight and are so perfect as a result. If this guy spent 30 years in a firehouse and riding the big rigs then he deserves every single benefit he was promised on the day he was hired and God Bless him with all the benefits he has earned too! For you health nuts out there I just hope at the end of a 30 year career you come out healthy too.
Dan DellaniniWednesday, February 06, 2013 6:02:07 PM@ Alan- get off your soapbox for a moment and look at the bgger picture. If you want to be a 100 pound lush or a 500 pound lush and your job is to work at a service desk or in front of a computer all day then thats fine. Fire Rescue is not a job for the obese. Neither is law enforcement or EMS. We are public servant and our jobs are very physically and mentally demanding. Its a question of safety. Not only for the obese individual but also the people they work with. In our jobs we are tasked with watching over our Brothers and Sisters and entrust them with our lives. Thats kind of a big deal. Im sorry if you have a thyroid problem, eating disorder, or are venetically predisposed to obesity but when it comes right down to it, its not my problem its yours and a career in high-risk public service is not for you and certainly my safety is not worth your hurt feelings.