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  1. #1

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    Jul 2009
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    Default Should I Test With Tattoos?

    I have read literally a hundred posts written by aspiring Firefighters who have tattoos looking for reassurance that they can make the cut. My heart goes out to you guys. I am in the same situation but with a unique twist. I was a volunteer Firefighter for three years 18-21. While testing for various departmnets (two in total) I landed in a construction job for five years where I aquired most of my non racial, non sexual, non offensive tattoos (unless you hate tattoos of course). I then left the construction job for a corporate job which I've had for 4 years, and the irony is I have to wear a suit and tie to work every day. I look back on my life now and I have one big regret. Not following through and becoming a professional Firefighter. My question is not if Fire Depts. will accept me with tattoos, it is should I test with tattoos? I'm in the process of lasering off my 3/4 sleeve. I'm lasering it off so I can be a Firefighter. So if I test and the Fire Dept. notes that I have tattoos when I retest will they hold this against me even if they are gone? Furthermore should I be upfront about the tattoos if I make it to the ORAL or should I let the medical reveal all. I'm not ashamed of my tattoos, and in retrospect I'm glad I never made it on a paid Fire Dept. when I was younger. I wasn't ready for the commitment and I was way to immature. I'm ready now. Instead of being a hero I just want to give something back. Lasering off my tattoos is a small price to pay. Thanks for your advice.


  2. #2
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    Default

    I'd have to say that it depends on the department regarding whether or not they will make a big deal out of it. It's not likely that it will come up in an interview and if it was me I probably wouldn't go out of my way to mention it. But if you apply to a department and are required to take a psych test, then they will analyze each of your tattoos - why did you get it, what does it mean, etc.

  3. #3

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    Jul 2009
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    Default

    Thanks for the feedback. My issue is should I wait until I finish my degree (1 1/2 years left) and I laser my tattoos off (1 1/2 years left) to test? Or should I get experience now testing and hope I get lucky. I dont want the FD to hold my tattoos against me on future tests especially since they will be gone. As I said before my FF resume has nothing on it other then 3 years volunteer service when I was 18-21. I've had construction and corporate jobs ever since. I am thinking about testing for the Las Vegas Fire Dept in October. I believe they do not have a tattoo policy. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2005
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    Take the tests. Most departments don't have a policy on tattoos, especially the larger departments. I've heard of some small depts that don't like hiring firefighters with tattoos. However, I know plenty of firefighters with sleeves. In your interview the tatts will most likely be covered up, so no need to mention it unless they ask. Of course there will be guys on the job who don't like your tattoos, and you might hear about it during the academy and probabtion..... but if there is no policy what can they do??

    Test now while you are finishing your degree.... maybe you'll get hired and the dept will pay for the rest of your schooling...it happens.

    Having some life experience with a construction background will be a big help. In your interview, discuss how you will apply that experience to become a successful firefighter. That will put you above many of the younger candidates. Just make sure you meet the min. requirements like EMT, CPAT...

  5. #5
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    Default Test

    Take as many tests as you can. Pick an area where you are willing to live (make this a fairly large area). I would say all of the US if you really want a FF job but that is some times unrealistic. Test and see what happens you should be fine. I have worked for a VERY VERY rich area(multi multi Million dollar homes) and the Dept did not care about Tats. I dont think it is as big of a deal now as it was 10 years ago. It more main stream now instead of an outcast type art.
    Last edited by ant195; 07-05-2009 at 11:23 AM.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with the poor timid spirits, who know neither victory nor defeat." FDR

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ant195 View Post
    Take as many tests as you can. Pick an area where you are willing to live (make this a fairly large area). I would say all of the US if you really want a FF job.
    LOL....that made me laugh....but it's good advice as long as you can see yourself living in the area you want to work.

    I know probably more guys that are inked up that are on the job than those without em'....

    Not that it matters, but honestly, they are more popular then ever right now, especially the sleeve type like you have. I think they look awesome, and on the right girl, they can look great. Irregardless, the powers that be somehow seem to look down on the people who have them and make them "pay" for having them. It seems ridiculous to me, especially in today's "open minded, accepting" generation to do that, but I don't make the rules.

    Instead of having them removed, when you start doing your homework about the departments you'd like to work for, ask them about the tattoo issue when you research the department. If they don't have a problem with them at all, (which most won't), why have them removed? Unless you seriously don't like them that is....

    This might shed some light on the subject FWIW...

    http://offbeatink.com/general/police...cover-tattoos/
    Quote Originally Posted by jedch47 View Post
    You like me are probably just a small player in this big EMS game. I am sure that it all makes sense to the people in charge. I am under the impression that when you start in upper level managment you lose the majority of your common sense.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply guys. Very motivational. I'll test as much as I can. I also just ordered Cpt. Bob's Gold package. Wish me luck!

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