what is everybodies departments rules about shaving and packing up. im just curious cause our department doesnt really have a rule or sop regarding this, but i have heard of it being a rule in other dep. that you have to be clean shaven or you cant pack up.
Clean shaven at the start of your shift. They do allow mustaches, if they do not break the seal. I've seen pictures of guys with full beards and have never understood how this does not compromise the seal on the facepiece. I also don't understand why facial hair is so important that someone would choose it over safety.
Being Muslim, we grow beards out of commitment to our religion, so the shaving issue is huge for those of us who are firefighters. All over this great nation, Muslims are fighting for the right to practice our religion and keep our jobs. I know the NFPA, OSHA, and manufacturers recommendations, but I believe many of these to be outdated. Our standards must match the available technology(i.e. positive pressure SCBA's). All we want is to be fit tested with our beards and if and when we pass the test, be allowed to practice our faith and keep our jobs. So, to answer your question, most FD's require their members to be clean shaven but this is in regards to antiquated recommendations. Please feel free to contact me for any questions.
I'm sorry about this but I feel if your in the USA than you follow our rules and I think that having a beard is more of a issue than just getting a seal on a facepeice. It can catch on fire also, thats why women have to put their hair up, they can't just leave it hanging going into a fire. I'm not picking on your religion but I feel its a hazard in the fire service to have a beard and I hate the fact that departments allow FF to go inside fire with them.
our policy is clean shaven. Like TJ referred to, 1-2 days growth is acceptable. We had a SENIOR member (who was a teacher) grow a goatee over his summer holidays. The guy shows up to practice one night and the chief asks "how do you plan on getting a proper seal?"...to which the member responds "you have to remember, it's only an volunteer department". Needless to say, Chief was not impressed, and the guy didn't last much longer after that.
So what your saying T.J. is you cant be born in the USA and be Musilm? I guess all the Jews arent US citizens either theire all here from Isrel and none of the Catholics or Christians are US citizens either they all just got off the boat from Europe. WTF man Muslim is a religon (which I am not a part of) not a geographic location.
T.J.? Have you ever really researched the history of beards in the Fire Service? Do you know of any documented incidents where a FF was injured due to having a beard? Also, what you said about the beard "catching on fire" is not a very responsible statement. Just how long is the beard that you are "assuming" will be "hanging" out? When making entry, there should be no exposed skin, hair, etc.. And one of this country's greateststrenghts is our differneces. I am not asking you to be able to relate, I am only asking you to be open minded to different ideas and beliefs. Our opinions should be based on facts and not perception. The Fire Service is becoming more and more diverse as we speak and we have to be willing to have an honest dialogue about our differences based on factual information and not personal opinions. I am not here to rant, rave, cry, or disresepect anyone, but perhaps we should all be a little more open minded to educating one another about our differences.
I can completely understand. Although, I would be hesitant to allow customs to compromise your safety. General, because it is a positive pressure fit, the issue would be escaping air,more than anything... but even with this, it makes it very tough to manage air. I have an issue with my facepiece when I sweat. I have to wear a smaller one because of the size of my chin, but the entire facepiece is smaller, as if because i have a small chin, the rest of my face is the size of a child's. When I sweat, the chin cup does not stay put and depending on my movements, if it slips a lot, my tank is empty before I know it, and it can be all of a sudden. Not good.
If you can be fit tested (and not this ridiculous, barely move so you pass testing that they seem to think is proper) and there is no issue, then maybe standards need to change. But for now, with people without facial hair having problems, I can see where this would cause an issue.
Pardon my ignorance to the custom, but do you wear the beard year round, or is it grown for particular times of the year? And please pardonTJ for his ignorance, clearly history was not his best subject. ;)
I'm saying that we should not change the rules because of someone's religion, I don't care what religion it is, it's been proven to work better with out a beard, so let's leave it at that, because if you allow beards than where do you draw the line on how long it can be and how far around the neck so that you can get a seal.
Thank you very much for your comments. I understand and agree with your statement about positive pressure SCBA's and escaping air. it was a responsible and well put comment. I have never had a problem with my mask fitting when I'm sweating, but I got a head the size of a Buick so I wear a large mask and perhaps that helps me. To answer your question, we wear our beards year round and not for any particular time of year. Our request is that the adminstration allows us a beard that is .25" in length, neatly trimmed, and allowing to pass an SCBA fit test. One of the issues is that the contractor who handles the fit test is refusing to fit test anyone with a beard. Now, as far as TJ? Maybe he works for an FD and serves a community where there is not much diversity, but I hold nothing against him and if I can ever do anything to help bridge the gap between us, I am ready and willing. Fire does not discriminate and neither do real Brothers.