Just to bring you all up to speed. I wanted to put nicknames or last names on the back of our helmets. I went around and asked each member of what they would like it to say. Some wanted nicknames ( which were all clean) and some wanted thier last name. I ordered and purchased these with money from my own pocket. I am the 2nd assistant chief and training officer for our department. I thought by having these names on our helmets it will help associate a name to the person wearing the gear. So no longer will there be a problem on mutual aid calls or tri county trainings. There will be no more "hey you" on the scene but instead they will be able to say a name, be it a nick name or your formal name. So, I purchased them and put them all on. 27 of them. Now, 2 months later it was brought up at a meeting to discuss these stickers. After the discussion, it was decided to remove the stickers with the nicknames and put the last names on. I am proud of my nickname, it has been with me for a very long time. Do others have nicknames on thier helmets? If so what does your department think about it. It was discussed that if an incident were to happen, and behold, the press snapped a photo of the back of some firefighters, that the nicknames would make our department not look professional. We are a volunteer department of 27 members. We serve a town of 1300 and a rural area of about 200 square miles. Having a nickname that is clean, I believe has no harm to the respresentation of the department. We all have them. I am wrong about this? jsut seeing what you all think or what your department does as far as name association goes.
Sorry but nicknames, even clean ones are not portraying professionalism. If your justification for ending the mutual aid "hey you" theory is truly the reason and not just to display your nickname Peanut, would the public feel the same about some nickname like "BULL" or "8-Ball" if it were to be shouted regardless if it was clean? Probably not likely. This is supposed to be a para-military organization.
My department has last name only. No nicknames. No extra stickers or trinkets either.
I have a question though.... After reading the second sentence of your original post, did the "Fire Chief" the one who is in charge of the department authorize you to take on this task?
Over in New Zealand, we are not allowed nick names on our helmets.
I guess it comes down to what FETC says about professionalism, We too are only allowed our last names on our helmets.
We went through a stage where the council was thinking about taking off last names for our security (because some house fires contain drug labs which we would find out after the incident). However that idea was dropped so currently we only have our last names on our helmet.
However i do see where your coming from Shaun, we have nicknames for each other that are clean. But we are still bound to last names on our helmets only.
I am too Damn old to really give a fart what anybody else thinks of my helmet .I am proud of my
nickname "OLD DOGG",cause I am one .I am one of three in our Paid department of 80 personell and a volunteer group of 30 with 25 or more years on the job . I am working under my 4th Chief in 26 years service , and no one has ever had a gripe about what we have on our noggin covers .I think it was a great thing for you to do for your people-its just the old adage -"no good deed goes unpunished" that "got " you .And another thing ,the Idea that a nickname doesn't look professional is a load of crap ! I think it means you are well liked enough that someone called you a nickname and it stuck, so 10 points for you Chief !
Shaun, we only use the persons last name for similar reasons you've already mentioned. We may call a person amongst ourselves by their nick name or initials. But for professional reasons we only have the persons last name displayed on their helmet and the back of their turn-outs. But, it really comes down to what works for you guys and ultimately what your Chief directs.
Professionalism is a state of mind and a way of operating, it doesn't matter if your paid or unpaid for your service. Uniformity is a part of any group acting professionally. Think in terms of sports teams for a moment: every player has a nickname the other players call him or her, both in the locker room and on the field, but beyond the "leisure sports leagues" (bowling, after work softball, etc...) teams uniformly use last names on jerseys. We strive for uniformity in the fire Service too, seeing that we're a para-military organization and all; everyone wears the same color bunker gear, and assigned helmet color are a couple of examples (what happens if a firefighter in a department that wears tan bunker gear decides he likes the "New York look" and buys himself a set of black bunker gear? How about red bunker gear?
That said, each organization decides to what level it wants to take the uniformity. Some allow stickers on helmets; some don't. Some allow Firefighters to choose between leather and composite helmets, trad or metro; others dictate or issue a particular type of helmet.
Likewise some will allow nicknames, and others will not. Your committee has told you where your department falls on this issue. I would think that now that they have set a standard on the subject the department will purchase the name decals for those who currently have nicknames, plus the last name decal for any future firefighters.
Question for you: does your department allow personal decals on helmets such a clover leaf, etc...? If they do, then perhaps the nickname decals can stay if the last name decal is also present. If not, then I guess it's just the last name for your FFs.
One last thought: What is on your accountability tags, nicknames or last names?
All though I do not have a nickname on my helmet I do have many stickers to personalize it. My dept runs the carins 1010 and they all look alike plain and boring.I purchased my own N6A leather so that I could run borkes and any stickers I fancy. What is on a helmet can help distinguish it from others when rushing off the truck for call. Good luck with keeping the nicknames...I might even poke around for one myself to support the cause!
Whats next, will your 'front office' ban American Flag stickers too?
yes they do allow other stickers as long as they are clean. We got some who have 9-11 rememberance decals. some have a norwegian flag we all have american flags on them. so yes other decal and stickers are ok as long as they are appropriate.