can a firefighter have beard???

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Mustache allowed, side burns no lower than ear lobes. Clean shaven, no five o'clock shadow. A crisp, clean professional look. Thats how we operate. On wildland assignments, we can do what we want but it's coming off when we get home.
To clear things up, you cannot have a beard in DC. I work for the DCFD and I would get put on charges if I showed up to work and wasn't properly shaved. I know there was that lawsuit in the past but you cannot just show up to work like that.

I remember there being a big deal a few years ago about some firefighters wanting to be able to have their beards for religious purposes but I couldn't remember exactly if it was in DC or not.

i din't expect there are many comments for my discussion. thanks for all.


i saw a friend's training text saying tahat you shouldn't grow bard if going to wear SCBA. i don't have SCBA yet, so i wonder what's the isue between SCBA  and having beard.

1)  No regulatory agency in the US involved in SCBA or respirator rules and regulations allow the use of a face piece when there is facial hair that is between the skin and the seal of the mask.


2)  While many peiople with a beard can get a seal in a clean, dry environment, while not sweating or moving around, it is hard, if not impossible to maintain that seal under actual fireground operations.


3)  Positive pressure was NOT designed as a means to allow bearded firefighters to wear SCBA.


Most FDs, and ALL the career FDs I am familiar with do not allow beards or members with beards to wear SCBA or work in the hazardous atmosphere.  

Frans, check out Oldman's reply up above.  That pretty much sums it up.  Most of the rules and regulations that we have were written to prevent the repetition of tragic incidents where firefighters lost their lives. It sounds like Oldman had a fairly close call.


Ron Hood mentions "no five o'clock shadow."  Reminds me of our mask fit/physical exams a couple years ago, where a firefighter came for his test with 2 days of stubble on his face.  The examiner made him dry shave in the parking lot to remove it, or else go home.


In Washington, no beards, volunteer or paid. We are not an OSHA state but all states must meet the intent of the OSHA rules. Try breaking them and see what happens. As has been stated, the safety rules are made up from dead and wounded workers. Management does not get hurt we do. Shave your beard, follow the rules. As you can see Frans, there are a lot of differing views here in America, but generally no beards allowed.

No you're wrong. You can not have a beard. Get out your IFSTA Essentials and it clearly says no beards and explains why. Lack of seal means you are loosing air. Not something ANY department should allow.


"The specific OSHA rule is 1910.134 (g)(1)(i)(A), as seen below:

Facepiece seal protection.

1910.134(g)(1)(i) The employer shall not permit respirators with tight-fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have:

1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A) Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function; or

Any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function."

No Beards by Virginia Dept. of Fire Programs.


policy in my area is you can have whatever facial hair you want, as long as it does not impede the operation of your CABA set.. same thing applies to long hair... not a problem as long as it doesn't stop you from doing what you have to do

Let's face it: If you have a real beard ,you're probably not a real fireman.

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