Hey everyone, I am in need of some opinions about rules regarding professionalism. My department is volunteer. We train weekly and due to the appearances of some, have had to enforce a dress code. The basics are try to have on clean jeans or shorts (appropriate length) and no tank tops for the ladies. Sadly, the last part we had to add was a no visible cleavage rule because it was becoming a major problem. We are having issues with people and their attire when not at the station or on emergency scenes. What would your department consider representation? Recently our department was covering fire and EMS for a state fair. The chief said prior to attending that if you were going to be there, you had to wear a department issued T shift, generic ff or EMT shirt. One of our members showed up wearing a tight tank top, too tight jeans, and her radio on her side. She did not come out to work though. She came over to our first aid station and sat down and said "I know I'm breaking the dress code, but I don't care." Each of our members working had their radios on their side and were dressed accordingly. If you were to walk by and see a group of people with radios on their side, would you assume those with the radios were representing the fire department?

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Actually no, I have not worn something that breaks our dress code because I believe in setting a good example. If I'm out getting groceries and I've got on a tank top, you can bet that I've got a t shirt in my car to change into. I'm not saying I show up on every call with my clothes in like new condition and every hair in place. But I make sure I look as professional as I can. I don't carry my radio or pager 24/7 but there are times when I have it on me even if I can't respond to calls because my fiance is on the dept. and I listen to make sure things are ok. But I keep it in my purse on low just so I can keep up to date on things. This individual has been on the dept. around 2 years. When she shows up for weekly training she usually gossips and plays with her cell phone. She's been in 1 structure fire. And she had the nerve to tell our chief she wasn't participating in hose maze training one night because she needed to evaluate everyone and see what level they are on.
You got to be lucky to beable to drive without EMT. In my county and my vol dept you wouldn't be allowed to drive anything without EMT being part of your requirements to be a active responder. If you got caught on the scene without the proper response dress or turnout gear you will be get it from the vol officers and it will come down from the county chief's office because someone on the scene or the public will make them aware of it.
Yes I would. I would tell her she needed to go home and change if she was going to be at the First Aid Station. If you are going to be with the team look like the team.
Hi how are you doing?
Fortunately we don't have a problem with the way our department dresses when they are representing the department. I probably would have asked her to leave if she was not there to help and definately asked her to go and change. We try to remind all of our members that when you wear department shirts or uniforms to remember they are representing the department and to watch what they do. What you do while in uniform reflects on the whole department.
We had our company meeting just a few nights ago and the one member shows up in her short outfit showing her tatoos and body jewelry. A few of the male members gave her the wolf howls. I don't agree with this type of way that younger people want to show themselves off with the tatoos and jewelry. I have two family members that have done the samething to themselves. One of them is EMT and has worked or is trying to get work for a ambulance company where they live but she has not done the jewelry bit like her brother has.
Now this member in our vol company wants to be career firefighter and I don't think they will allow her to wear the jewelry while on duty because if they get into a super heated room that stuff will heat up. I just wonder if she will get in because she looks like a look stiff wind would knock her off her feet and being 5 ft tall.
If i were chief I would have told her to go change into something more appropriate to representing the FD and handed her a copy of the SOG for appearance. Then I would have turned to those guys and said, ever heard of sexual harassment? That is not acceptable here. PERIOD!
Common sense isn't all that common Don, especially when a chief or "officer" is more concerned with keeping personnel than enforcing rules.
As someone who is charged with supervising volunteer personnel I would have asked the person in question to leave the booth. If they are there "on duty" or not...while wearing the radio they are identifying themselves as a member of your department. As such, they are subject to the rules and regulations that are in place.

I have had a problem in the past with personnel, male and female, showing up for calls in tank tops. Our department provides every member, career and volunteer, with a gracious plenty of t shirts so is it really that hard to keep a FD t-shirt with your gear so you don't look like redneck trash when you show up for a call?

As a volunteer it pisses me off when we complain about the career personnel out there not treating us as equal then we refuse to act like professionals ourselves.
Our department has done the same Todd. Each member was given a shirt and an opportunity to buy more for only $4.50. I have just always carried an extra set of clothing with me because you never know what will happen. Whenever there is a news story about a structure fire the comments fly about how thankful people are for the paid department inside the city and how volunteers don't have a clue what they are doing. People have no idea that many of the volunteers have the same training as the paid ff's. I even have to admit that someone showing up to assist the ambulance in a clean pair of pants and T shirt looks far better than a spaghetti strap tank top paired with a Wonderbra... I'd probably wonder if they knew what they were doing. That's been my biggest peeve with this girl is she's making our department look bad a a whole, but I've heard even more comments pertaining to myself because I'm the same gender. Sorry, but I've worked too hard to prove myself to let someone else's behaviors define me.
That's a tough situation!  I'm sure you have heard the argument,"I'm 
off duty and can dress how I want".  While that may be a reasonable 
Argument, we also have to realize that as public servants we are really
Never off duty.  So, I personally believe that there is a professional
 expectation that we should be responsible to uphold weather it be dress,
How we drive, etc.  Remember everyone has a camera and those are people are the
Ones who we are going to ask for support...
I have seen the many ways the public has capture many incidents involving the fire service and many of them not making the fire service look professional.
We have had fist fights between station crews on fires sent to the local news media. Then you have the ones dumb enough to post their own wrong doing while doing something unprofessional while wearing fire dept Ts or turnout gear or on station property.

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