In both departments I work on a beard is allowed only if it does not impede operation of the SCBA and a good seal of the mask.
A policy that says beards are OK as long as they don't interfere with SCBA is really not a policy at all.
How can a beard NOT interfere with facepiece seal?
i suppose by that you mean i'm a volunteer?
for what its worth, yes i am, but i don't see what difference it makes at a fire
the firs doesn't care if you are paid, volunteer, male, female, black, white, old, young, it will burn you just the same
No, I don't mean that you're a volunteer. That's not what I meant. Or said.
No, it doesn't make a difference at a fire.
You are right. The fire doesn't care what you are. It will hurt you if you let it. Especially if you help it out by wearing SCBA facepiece over a beard.
That's what I mean.
sorry... didn't mean to fly off the handle at that... i get a lot of grief about not being a real firefighter because i'm a volunteer... my apologies for reading too much into your post...
In the mid 70's New York instituted a grooming policy. No beards and hair cannot pass the shirt collar. I'm wondering if certain groups could file discrimination lawsuits. Sikh's, muslims, amish and some jewish sects require the wearing of a beard. I guess the department could always argue that safety has to be the number 1 concern. Is it possible to get a good seal if your wearing a fire retardent hood?
Hood is not supposed to be worn UNDER the facepiece seal. Facepiece goes on and then hood over on the outside.
Well that answers that question. Thanks captnjak.
Yes, they can file discrimination lawsuits. It's happened here. Then randomly in the past year, our chief announced we can have 1/4" thickness facial hair. Our chief is also a moron though. We also don't need to follow OSHA though in DC.
It is asimple fact that not one single manufacturer of SCBA approves the use of their product with facial hair that isbetween the seal of the mask and your skin. No regulatory agency, NFPA, OSHA, MSHA, or any other that I am aware of approves this. My state has adopted the NFPA standard as administrative code so it isn't even in the hands of the fire chief to allow it anymore, but many still do despite taking the entire liability issue onto their shoulders.
It is as simple as this, if you want to be a firefighter shave the beard. if you don't want to shave your beard find something ese to do.
This isn't my opinion. This is how it is. The District isn't a state and does not need to follow OSHA. Our order book allowed 1/4" or something like that. I'm not 100% sure on the length because I don't have a beard but that's just how it is.
And that 1/4 is political correctness run rampant. What haoens when someone goes down from smoke inhalation or toxic exposure with their beard? The District hasn't got a leg to stand on to protect itself.