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.
There is a an article in this months Fire-Rescue magazine that discusses fire fighting practices in European countries. It mentions in Sweden the fire fighters there wear their mask over their hood. Now, I was always taught and taught others that this a was guaranteed way to break your mask seal but according to the article that is not the case. If you can achieve a mask seal with your hood in the way, I would think you could achieve a seal with a neatly trimmed beard also. The refusal to even try to offer a fit test to a fire fighter with a beard seems wrong to me. If you can achieve a seal, you pass.
Then we agree, if its not a safety problem and someone is given the chance to prove it is not a safety or performance issue then religous reason or not there should not be a problem with allowing it. If someone is on a department and they want a beard just for the sake of having one fine but that person is not an interior firefighter until they pass a fit test. You bring up tatoos that is a perfect example where the item does not make a difference in the safety or performance of that person and its the eye of the beholder that makes it an issue. So what if the person next to me has a tatoo that may offend someone or they know that I have a few tatoos or if they are a different religon or rece or have long hair because they choose to as long as they have proven it is not an issue and they are right there when the $hi! hits the fan who cares. As I said before it should end at the point where it becomes a safety or performance issue no matter where that line ends up being drawn. We can agree that neither one of us is trying to offend forgive this old fool if I have. I'm just trying to point out that I have seen many issues come up in my years of service to both the fire department and this country that are issues only because someone precieved them to be.
All right I will shave my legs if that going to help, been fighting it for a long time,but if it going to help alright... No really can't pass fit test if the guys have a beard .. so must come off in order to wear a mask where I come from...
Paul? I agree with you totally. All I am asking is give us a chance to be fit tested. Safety is paramount and anything that compromises safety must not be tolerated, but we deserve a fair chance at a test.
my dept is a volly, or paid on call dept,,,we are allowed no more than a 3 day growth of beard,,,have sent several home for having more than that,,,even from our drills,,,as never know when we will get a call...ps...the last one we sent home has not returned to the dept in a year so he was removed from roster the past month
I have to say that yes, Safety is paramount. Anything that compromises safety must be addressed, but professional appearance is also an issue. When we become professional FF's we agree to serve the public and if my tattoos are of an offensive nature, then I also must be addresssed on the issue. For example, if I am serving a predominantly Jewish community, but I have a tattoo of a Swastika where it is clearly visible, then this becomes an issue. I am not saying that you cannot have the Swastika, but we will not allow our public to be offended. I can not think of anyway, that my beard and my religion could offend the public. We are professionals and have promised to maintain a level of professional that exceeds expectations. We owe this to our communities.