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Thread: Tattoo policies

  1. #1

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    Default Tattoo policies

    First of all, Thanks for letting me sign up for this forum - I am a stay at home dad who has recently gone back to school in Denton, TX. I am from Scotland, but moved to the Lone Star state 9 years ago after marrying an American girl!

    Basically, I am writing a paper for school regarding tattoo policies in fire departments across the country - when I googled this, I came across a thread in this forum and thought I would sign up to see if anyone can pint me towards any good leads, websites, stories, etc.

    I am not, and never have been a firefighter, but have a few pieces of ink, and very interested in this subject - tattoo discrimination in public service.

    Thank you very much for your time, and I hope I have placed this post in the right section!

    Thanks guys/gals

    Alasdair Green


  2. #2
    Forum Member PaladinKnight's Avatar
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    Our policy is fairly simple.

    Tatoos must not be suggestive or offensive.

    Tattoos are prohibitted on:
    a) face, head, neck or shoulders.
    b) lower arm (below the elbow), wrist or hands.
    c) lower leg (below knee), ankle or feet.

    Tatoos must be concealable when wearing Class A Uniform, or Duty/Station wear, with the exception of upper arm region if partially covered by Duty shirt sleeve.

    There is no restriction to tattos on chest, back or other torso regions but must be concealed while on duty.

    -------------------------------------------------

    Earrings, Facial Rings (studs), Body Rings (studs) and other Body Jewelry, are prohibitted while on duty.

    Finger rings are prohibitted while on duty.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    We had more issues with body jewelry than tattoos several years ago. While many objected to the policy, we (AHJ) took the postion that it was safety issue and we were not in the carnival business.

    The Finger ring issue got alot of attention as well. But when one of our guys had his ring-finger de-gloved when a saw kicked-back into his glove, the policy proved itself. The point being, I would rather that they keep their fingers.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There is a on-going discussion that a policy denies one's right of free expression. But in the workplace, the AHJ has the right of hiring the best team players. Applicants that are covered with tattoos don't make it very far in the application process. Like I said, we are not in the carnival business.

    The people that like to walk around like a billboard or a jewelry display have to live with that decision and find they own niche. A dangerous occupation like firefighting isn't that niche.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Jonnee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottishbeagle View Post
    First of all, Thanks for letting me sign up for this forum - I am a stay at home dad who has recently gone back to school in Denton, TX. I am from Scotland, but moved to the Lone Star state 9 years ago after marrying an American girl!

    Basically, I am writing a paper for school regarding tattoo policies in fire departments across the country - when I googled this, I came across a thread in this forum and thought I would sign up to see if anyone can pint me towards any good leads, websites, stories, etc.

    I am not, and never have been a firefighter, but have a few pieces of ink, and very interested in this subject - tattoo discrimination in public service.

    Thank you very much for your time, and I hope I have placed this post in the right section!

    Thanks guys/gals

    Alasdair Green


    Welcome Laddie.

    Do a search on that subject as its been talked about a lot.

    The search function in on the black band near the top.

  4. #4
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    No limits on tattoos but one must be centered on forehead, in red, "MORON".

    Not allowed to around valuable or pointy tools or equipment, are detailed to drill holes in PVC for dry hydrant strainers.

  5. #5
    Forum Member firecat1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottishbeagle View Post
    Basically, I am writing a paper for school regarding tattoo policies in fire departments across the country -
    I was just curious as to what kind of class you're taking that would have you writing about such a narrowed-down topic? Why fire fighters specifically and not the health/life services in general?

  6. #6
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    My FD is in the process of hiring two and the recruits are going through CPAT testing.

    First off let me lay this ground work statement.... People, sometimes much older than you will be deciding on if a individual would be the best candidate for the position, so appearance is "everything". I was always taught to pick up the application dressed as if they had already hired you; decent dressed, clean shaven, hair cut.... first impressions, first impressions, first impressions....

    Three guys were tatooed up alot, visible neck, lower arm and even one guy with what looked like fish scales on his hand (what's up with that?). Some of these guys without a doubt are probably pretty good people, just made some questionable decisions.

    If you want to talk about freedpm of expession, thats fine, as an employer they have a freedom not to see someone as the best fit in the public perception of their service.

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