Firefighters fight for light duty policy during pregnancy
“We have a female who is eight months pregnant and expected to go into a burning building and perform firefighting duties. Let that sink in for a minute,” a union president said
By FireRescue1 Staff
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. — A group of firefighters are fighting to have a light duty policy implemented for pregnant firefighters.
WPTV reported that Indian River County firefighters urged county commissioners to adopt a light duty policy for pregnant employees, a policy that most counties in the state already have.
“We have a female who is eight months pregnant and expected to go into a burning building and perform firefighting duties. Let that sink in for a minute,” union president John O’Connor said.
Engineer and solo medic Nicole Morris said she has accepted the fact that she will be responding to calls up until the day she has her baby.
“I am big, and tired, and definitely uncomfortable,” Morris said. “I don’t expect to see change before my pregnancy is over, I’m too close to the end.”
Firefighters stressed that county leaders do not have to wait until the 2019 negotiation period to amend their current contract to allow light duty.
County commissioners said a decision could not be made at this time.
Firefighters also asked that an investigation be conducted into whether or not Chief John King has been treating Morris differently during her pregnancy.
Morris said Chief King made it nearly impossible for her to max out all of her shift changes and use her vacation time to have enough time off when she has her baby, claiming she was only allowed to switch nine shifts with firefighters of her same rank and that he denied her request to switch shifts with someone of a different rank.