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.
In my department we have our last name and first initial of first name on the rear brim, we are also allowed to have one other approved 9-11 decal or sticker on the helmet, and we may have anything on the underside so long as it is not offensive...somehow I keep getting in trouble for that one! I guess shamrocks are somehow offensive to someone
Being that this is Veterans Day, I'll respond this way. I consider military pilots (aviators for you Navy people) to be very professional. Yet their helmets have their "call sign", nicknames if you will, stenciled on them. They also have it stenciled on the aircraft.
I realize that as a rule, firefighters are in the public eye far more often than are military pilots and aircraft. It is also a know fact that some of us are pretty "throwed off", so I will admit that there are probably some which would "push the envelope" for good taste. But I personally wouldn't have a problem with them, as long as there were strict guidelines.
Now obviously the powers that be on your department feels that it might create an issue. That's why we have veterans, so we have that freedom to decide what we put on the helmet. My department does not put anything on our helmets, but we have our last names in 3" letters on the back of our coat.
we can put any thing we want on our helmets, when someone receives an "official" dept. nickname, they get a sticker with it for their helmet. my feeling is that helmets are a more personal piece of ppe, and you should be allowed to personalize it as long as it is not a safety hazard.
I'm a huge fan of professionalism, both in appearance and in action. That being said, when I was being issued the velcro nametag for my jacket, the paperwork got bounced back to me in crappy way -so just to be a dick I re-did it and shortened my last name to the nickname I've had all my life, a shortened version of my last name. It was accepted, so on the back of my turnout I am the only one to have a 'nickname'. It's pretty much how most people outside of my house know me. Still cracks me up when I hear myself referred to on the radio as firefighter so-and-so. Simple pleasures.
I am not at all against using nicknames. Several in my department, including myself, have them & use them very frequently around the fire house. However, I am very particular about profesionalism & while on a scene we call each other by name or rank. Our coats have the penguin tail on the bottom with our last name for I.D. purposes. The only thing I allow on our helments are stickers that identify rank, training level, unit # & the American flag. I have to agree, from personal experiance, it only takes one picture in the paper or one person's opinion to make a department shine or sink. In my opinion if you look profesional, it helps you act profesional.
My own thoughts? Nicknames on helmets (or any other PPE) look sloppy, out of place. Are we serious or is the whole thing a joke? Remember the public are watching us. We are only allowed to wear surname, training level and rank stickers on our helmet. Nicknames are kept for our coffee mugs.
As to what happened in your Department Shaun, "it was brought up at a meeting". Was that a whole of FD meeting? If so, it sounds like the majority may have decided that surnames were seen as the better way, to show more professionalism. So democracy has decided?