SEBRING The House rejected an amendment by Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach, setting a maximum body mass index of 25 for firefighters.
"It's good for public safety," she argued. "Firefighters need to be fit. Stamina and cardiovascular fitness are a must to be able to perform this tough job."
Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, said BMI can be subjective and misleading, particularly for people who are muscular. BMI divides weight by height inches squared, multiplied by 703. Below 18.5 is underweight, above 25 is overweight.
Rep. Mike Clelland, R-Maitland, whose BMI is probably over 26, was a good firefighter for many years. He said the measure would unfairly affect chiefs and deskbound firefighters.