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    Default Tattoos and work.

    I was curious as to the policies and practices of dealing with tattoos in this particular profession. Do tattoos that are below the elbow and clearly visible pose any problem to employment? Has anyone ever run into any problems with a station dealing negatively with tattoos before? Thank you for your responses, I appreciate it.

    Fred

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    this topic has been covered serveral times, including a thread started by me. just search for "tattoos" in the forum.
    And as for your question, it just depends on the department, so if you're are testing for a department right now, just call and ask somebody to find out the policy.
    In my opinion I don't think it should matter, I have tattoos on my forearms so of course I'm going to lean that way. But I want this job so bad that I'd be willing to wear a long sleeve shirt everyday for the rest of my life.

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    Tattoo policies are becomming much more restrictive, not more lax. Many departments in California are (or already have) implementing policies that state NO visible tattoos. This includes ones that are covered with a long sleeve shirt.

    Other departments will hire you, but you must keep them covered at all times. For many, this means wearing a long sleeve shirt.

    Here's the advice I give to prospective candidates:
    Decide how important your tattoo is to you. If you have a visible tattoo, it may impact your ability to get hired. If you don't have one and are thinking about getting one, I would encourage you to think twice about it.
    Paul Lepore
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    I ran into problems at my old job as an EMT, but haven't run into any now as a firefighter, but that can change. I am the only one in my department that has any below the elbow. I am an industrial firefighter and there are plenty of office people as well a laborers and I haven't run into any problems so far and there is no written policy on the subject.

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    there are a lot of departments that are starting to require any tattoos to be covered. I work for memphis fire department and the just put a policy in place april 1 of this year that requires all tatoos to be covered at all times. the will allow us to wear arm sleeves instead of long sleeve shirts but they must be flesh colored.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCLepore View Post
    Tattoo policies are becomming much more restrictive, not more lax. Many departments in California are (or already have) implementing policies that state NO visible tattoos. This includes ones that are covered with a long sleeve shirt.

    Other departments will hire you, but you must keep them covered at all times. For many, this means wearing a long sleeve shirt.

    Here's the advice I give to prospective candidates:
    Decide how important your tattoo is to you. If you have a visible tattoo, it may impact your ability to get hired. If you don't have one and are thinking about getting one, I would encourage you to think twice about it.
    Iím curious what those policies actually read. What about cosmetic tattoos (women with eye liner tattooed on)? What about religious tattoos (ex: I have my wedding band tattooed on)? I know that DCFD lost a case in court about the length of a Medics hair, and fire departments have lost court cases regarding facial hair when employees claimed religious rights.

    What about memorial tattoos? I dare the city of New York, Worcester, or Charleston to tell the rank and file they canít have ANY tattoos exposed?

    This is not a communist state and we as American citizens are afforded the freedom of expression. So long as a tattoo is not offensive, racist, or intimidating in nature then how can they (brass/city admin) tell me what I can or cannot have tattooed on my arm, leg, etc...? Itís against the laws of this country for them to do so.
    "Some people train till they get it right, we will train till we can't get it wrong"

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    whats the policy on hair length...?

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    a tattoo doesnt affect job performance. Long as you act professional, that should be all that matters.

    A offensive tattoo or not, does it anyway impair your job performance?

    I think not.

    I cant believe there arent more lawsuits about this
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinmedic View Post
    This is not a communist state and we as American citizens are afforded the freedom of expression. So long as a tattoo is not offensive, racist, or intimidating in nature then how can they (brass/city admin) tell me what I can or cannot have tattooed on my arm, leg, etc...? Itís against the laws of this country for them to do so.


    people love to talk about rights when it comes to restrictions are work. for anyone without a job already remember, you have a right to do X, but you don't have the right to have the job you want on your terms. No one is saying you can't get a tattoo, but that doesn't mean you can have it and the job you want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    people love to talk about rights when it comes to restrictions are work. for anyone without a job already remember, you have a right to do X, but you don't have the right to have the job you want on your terms. No one is saying you can't get a tattoo, but that doesn't mean you can have it and the job you want.

    In lue of your comment and Personal feelings aside, I have spent most of the morning searching court cases regarding tattoos, freedom of expression and how they both relate to the work place. And while I find equal evidence that both supports the right to be tattooed and the employers right to protect its image, I can neither say, to either degree who will win this argument.
    In an effort not to be to long winded I will leave you with something that I find interesting.

    Army Reg 670-1 (which governs the wear and appearance of uniforms), recruits and all soldiers are allowed to have tattoos on the neck and straight down behind an imaginary line from the jawbone. The policy further states that ďTattoos that are not extremist, indecent, sexist or racist are allowed on the hands and neck. Initial entry determinations will be made according to current guidance.Ē

    It stand to ask yourself this, If it is cool with the United States Army, how long will it be till it is cool with you local government.
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    I was at a written test for a department today and because it was hot many of the candidates were wearing shorts and t-shirts. I was more than surprised by how many tatoos were visible on arms and legs. I already knew this department will not hire you with tatoos.

    One candidate told me the more candidates that show up with tats the agencies will have to change the policy of allowing tatoos. He was completing a shirt sleeve tatoo down his left arm.
    As Dr. Phil says, get back to me on that.

    I ran into a new rookie female from a large department with a strick tatoo policy at the gym with a large tatoo on her ankle. I asked her what the agency and psych doc said about the color. She just laughed and said they knew it was there but didn't say anything. We should all be this lucky.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com
    Last edited by CaptBob; 08-17-2008 at 05:15 AM.

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    Josh Hamilton is arguably the MVP for the AL this year. Over the part few years, Hamilton was an ***. He nearly squandered his opportunity to earn millions He abused drugs and alcohol and was a party wild man. As a result of binges on alcohol and crack cocaine, Hamilton acquired 26 tatoos, many of them satanic in nature. Recently in Sports Illustrated, Hamilton talked about how he regretted every single tatoo. They are so predominant on his arms, the chances for removal are remote.

    We have talked on these forums before, that, if you want to be part of the greatest profession in the world, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that you are ready to take the tests when they arise. I would say that this includes body art. You decide what is more important; your chance at the career of your dreams or expressing yourself with PERMANENT bosy art.

    Before you get that tat, it might be a good idea to close your eyes and ask yourself two questions:

    1. Would I be getting this tatoo if I was sober?
    2. Am I going to want to show my child these tatoos when they are 10 years old.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Josh Hamilton is arguably the MVP for the AL this year. Over the part few years, Hamilton was an ***. He nearly squandered his opportunity to earn millions He abused drugs and alcohol and was a party wild man. As a result of binges on alcohol and crack cocaine, Hamilton acquired 26 tatoos, many of them satanic in nature. Recently in Sports Illustrated, Hamilton talked about how he regretted every single tatoo. They are so predominant on his arms, the chances for removal are remote.

    We have talked on these forums before, that, if you want to be part of the greatest profession in the world, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that you are ready to take the tests when they arise. I would say that this includes body art. You decide what is more important; your chance at the career of your dreams or expressing yourself with PERMANENT bosy art.

    Before you get that tat, it might be a good idea to close your eyes and ask yourself two questions:

    1. Would I be getting this tatoo if I was sober?
    2. Am I going to want to show my child these tatoos when they are 10 years old.
    I understand what you are saying...but alot of guys including me are not talking about offensive ink.....I don't have any offensive ink on my body...

    but how about ink with your mothers name?...child(ren) name....a religious symbol...these are not skulls...naked ladies...or racially insensitive art....why should it be a problem....

    IMO it shouldn't....

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    Quote Originally Posted by PropheticPoet83 View Post
    I understand what you are saying...but alot of guys including me are not talking about offensive ink.....I don't have any offensive ink on my body...

    but how about ink with your mothers name?...child(ren) name....a religious symbol...these are not skulls...naked ladies...or racially insensitive art....why should it be a problem....

    IMO it shouldn't....
    To many, many people, all tats are offensive. Including, undoubtedly, members of any potential interview panel for the FD you want to work for.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    First- I love tattoos. I really do enjoy looking at the art work and hearing the story behind it.

    But...

    I do not have any tats. Why? Just not for me right now. Second- Folks, please rememeber getting on a paid department is not the same as join your local volunteer station. Its not just a hand wave vote in.

    Departments can be picky when choosing one candidate out of 100. And they want to be very professional represented at all times. If you have something that might be offensive, Mrs. Smith's attention goes right to the body art and stays ofcused on that.

    Also, consider this. What happens on a medical aid when an IV is getting started? Everyone stops, watchs and waits for this proceedure to be completed. If you got a FF/PM with a graphic tat on his arm and he/she is pushing that needle, everyone is seeing this and making instant judgments on that professional. It's human nature.

    YOU need to decide what is more inportant to you. Getting this job or making a visual statement.

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    Default tradition, pride, honor, dedication, etc...

    A few years back I had my fingers crushed in a job related accident. This accident required the removal of a ring. I stopped wearing rings at work after that, however i decided that when i got married I would have my wedding band tattooed on my finger....and last year I did.

    I believe in dedication to one woman, one family, and one God. And, I believe in everything that the wedding ring stands for. However, I did not want to have another accident that, next time, may cost me my finger.

    So by getting my wedding band tattooed on does that put me in a different catorgory, since i got my tattoo for safety issues? Or is it an "expression" that would bring disgrace and dishonor to a career that traditionally values the very reasons that I got the tattoo in the first place (tradition, pride, honor, dedication, etc...)?
    The Choice is yours to decide, and the judgement is yours to cast. I know where I sit on the matter, and I know that I can offer a thoughtful and sincere explanation why I never take my wedding ring off....
    Last edited by pedalinmedic; 08-17-2008 at 12:38 PM. Reason: replace a few words
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    If you wear as suit to an interview and you get through the process, they cannot fire you for having tattoos. They may be able to make you cover them but they cannot get rid of you for tattoo's, that would be discrimination. Just wear long sleeves till you get hired! Most departments that I have come across do not have "No Tattoo' policies. Maybe more in California but here in Florida it is almost all paid departments and there are not too many firefighters that I know that donít have tattoos.

    I have never come across a patient that got offended by a tattoo either. All a patient that is having an emergency cares about is that they are being taken care of and that they are in good hands. We aren't in the corporate world; I personally don't understand why this matters in our career??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akcrowe View Post
    If you wear as suit to an interview and you get through the process, they cannot fire you for having tattoos. They may be able to make you cover them but they cannot get rid of you for tattoo's, that would be discrimination. Just wear long sleeves till you get hired! Most departments that I have come across do not have "No Tattoo' policies. Maybe more in California but here in Florida it is almost all paid departments and there are not too many firefighters that I know that donít have tattoos.

    I have never come across a patient that got offended by a tattoo either. All a patient that is having an emergency cares about is that they are being taken care of and that they are in good hands. We aren't in the corporate world; I personally don't understand why this matters in our career??
    Really. Hmmmmm

    During most hiring processes you wil have an agility, medical and fill out a background packet that will ask you do you have any tatoos, branding or have ever cut yourself deliberately. Unless you dress like a mummy they're going to see the color. If there is a psych as part of the process the doc is going to ask some questions you might not be prepared to answer.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalinmedic View Post
    This is not a communist state and we as American citizens are afforded the freedom of expression. So long as a tattoo is not offensive, racist, or intimidating in nature then how can they (brass/city admin) tell me what I can or cannot have tattooed on my arm, leg, etc...? Itís against the laws of this country for them to do so.
    What does communism have to do with tattoos? I don't remember Marx talking about them in the Communist Manifesto...Lenin didn't say much either...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akcrowe View Post
    If you wear as suit to an interview and you get through the process, they cannot fire you for having tattoos. They may be able to make you cover them but they cannot get rid of you for tattoo's, that would be discrimination. Just wear long sleeves till you get hired!
    Bad advise. Trying to deceive the department during the entire hiring process wont work. Dont gamble and loose everything.

    Again, its hard to get a job out there. 1 opening for 100 applicants. This is not your local volunteer fire hall voring people in. Departments are investing a lot of money, time and effort to hire someone to represent THEM.

    Quick story- My neighbor is a veteran Correctional Officer. I had a business meeting at my house with a former Police Officer. My Associate saw my neighbor outside with all of his tats. I told my visitor my neighbor is a CO and the first thing out of his mouth was- "Is he an Officer or an inmate? I cant tell."

    As we know- The first impression say a lot.
    Last edited by CALFFBOU; 08-18-2008 at 12:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptBob View Post
    Really. Hmmmmm

    During most hiring processes you wil have an agility, medical and fill out a background packet that will ask you do you have any tatoos, branding or have ever cut yourself deliberately. Unless you dress like a mummy they're going to see the color. If there is a psych as part of the process the doc is going to ask some questions you might not be prepared to answer.

    "Captain Bob" www.eatstress.com

    Iím not saying to deceive the department; I just donít see the big deal in having tattoos? I also donít find it necessary to bring it up unless asks. Why would you bring this up if you think it could affect your chance at being hired?
    Last edited by Akcrowe; 08-18-2008 at 03:35 PM.

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    Someone that would judge a personís character over art work expressed on their body and classify them as an inmate is ridiculous. They probably havenít traveled anywhere in the world outside their little town and are very uneducated! There is a huge difference between prison tattoos and real world tattoos, and very easy to recognize.

    Tattoos really donít change who a person is. I have no visible tattoos but it is really sad that people who do have tattoos are being past up in this profession. They may have been the best person for the job but didnít get hired over a tattoo. So sad! As a firefighter you are not supposed to be judgmental since we are protecting people of all different ethnic backgrounds etc...

    You can represent a department just fine with tattoos and probably be a better person than a someone with a judgmental attitude!

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    I have tattoos and I have an opinion on this matter.

    We all judge people by their appearance whether we like to admit it or not. People with tattoos are generally thought of as criminals, punks, or other things with negative connotations. Of course, anyone who has experienced the real world, knows this not to be true.

    The whole point of a fire department is to protect life and property. Now, does anybody in any sort of emergency really care what their savior looks like? If so, who's to say they don't like moustaches or bald heads? I understand that fire departments want to be represented professionally. What is less professional, a guy with a few tattoos showing, or an overweight, bald guy with a moustache that doesn't groom himself well?

    I guess my point in all of this is that people with tattoos are definitely discriminated against and it is unfair in my opinion. If I owned a company and needed to hire some employees, I would want the ones who are the best qualified for the job. Sure, they would have to be presentable, but that is more in regards to their ability to relate to other people and act professionally.

    If I make it far enough in the process I will admit I have tattoos if asked, but I certainly won't volunteer the information. I think it is ridiculous that it could actually affect my ability to get hired as a firefighter. To the gentleman who said you are deceiving the department if you don't volunteer the information, that is absurd. Do I have to tell them that one of my fingers is crooked or that I like to grow a beard every once in a while? No, because if I can get hired on my merit, obviosuly I deserve to be a firefighter.

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    Very well said Whatbrown. I agree with you 100%.

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