Would-be city firefighter clears medical obstacle
Jon Fosherof Manchester has been involved in a lengthy struggle to be hired by the Manchester Fire Department. (THOMAS ROY/Union Leader)
Fosher has sought to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in joining the Manchester Fire Department as a firefighter, and Chief James Burkush offered him a job twice. But his hiring had repeatedly hit a snag: the city’s medical consultant had determined that a rod in Fosher’s back and three fused vertebrae — the result of a car accident when he was 16 — disqualified him. The adviser had stuck to his opinion despite the determination of Fosher’s doctor and the willingness of state authorities to grant him a waiver.
“After speaking to him he feels comfortable Jon passes, and he’s willing to sign off on that,” he said.
But Alderman-At-Large Dan O’Neil and a majority of his colleagues insisted on passing the motion anyway.
“I train five days a week. I push myself to be better, faster, stronger,” Jon Fosher said. “I can only hope you will do the right thing.”
The board voted 9-4 to approve the motion to support Burkush in hiring Fosher, but Gatsas vetoed the motion, and an override attempt came up one vote short.
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