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Thread: What is the general consensus on tattoos?

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    Forum Member Wolfn's Avatar
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    Default What is the general consensus on tattoos?

    What's the general attitude towards tattoos?

    The reason why I'm asking is because earlier today I was at the local mall and a firefighter came in with an AED for a patient. No bunker gear, just station shirt and dark shorts and his arms and legs were covered with tattoos.


    I must say this surprised me.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.


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    Alot of your questions are on appearance?

    Depends in the department.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Funny YOU would ask about tatoos. Have yu looked at your avatar?
    “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” Leo F. Buscaglia

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    Forum Member Wolfn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by legos.8ty7 View Post
    Alot of your questions are on appearance?

    Depends in the department.
    Well, not that I would get alot of tattoos. But I thought you can't have a visible tattoo.
    Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.

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    Forum Member Wolfn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Funny YOU would ask about tatoos. Have yu looked at your avatar?

    Yep

    Ten characters
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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfn View Post
    Well, not that I would get alot of tattoos. But I thought you can't have a visible tattoo.
    It depends on the department. Some have rules about visible ink; some don't.

    As a good rule of thumb, don't get any visible ink if you're looking to get on as a career firefighter. (Or any other career track professional job...)
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    If you want a real career, dont get tatted too much. Biceps are cool. Maybe a forearm. But sleeves of tattoos, thats no bueno.
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    MembersZone Subscriber tree68's Avatar
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    I've saved myself a bunch of trouble (and money) by not getting any tattoos at all...
    Opinions my own. Standard disclaimers apply.

    Everyone goes home. Safety begins with you.

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    Forum Member islandfire03's Avatar
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    Also : You don't get hepatitis by having ink injected by a needle under sometimes less than sanitary conditions, by an ex con that learned his trade with a ballpoint pen in prison.

    If you think a tat is really nice when it's first done, wait ten or fifteen years as your body ages and you'll figure out what a waste of money it was.

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    As mentioned, it varies. There are still departments out there that simply don't care about tattoos, others that have some restrictions and some that have very restrictive policies.

    Some will suggest you wait until you are hired, but even that is not 100%. There are more departments moving to no visible tattoo policies and they don't grandfather current employees. Hope you don't work in a hot climate when you start having to wear a long sleeve shirt at all times when on duty.

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    Forum Member snowball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post
    Also : You don't get hepatitis by having ink injected by a needle under sometimes less than sanitary conditions, by an ex con that learned his trade with a ballpoint pen in prison.

    If you think a tat is really nice when it's first done, wait ten or fifteen years as your body ages and you'll figure out what a waste of money it was.
    ^^Stereotypical response. How many do you have? I have quite a few, done by artists that take great pride in their craft. We even have a couple of guys on the job that are pretty good. I'd let them ink me any day. My father in law who is 80, had some done during the Korean war (Navy guy), they are holding fast. Even the battleship on his chest that says "Hold Fast".

    There are some bad ones, I'll admit. But the saying goes..."you get what you pay for".
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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Point being: even in today's world, tatoos are not looked at by most of society as part of a professional image. That being said, if you want to get them that is up to you. But don't be surprised if they affect your hiring chances or you have something said to you in a professional setting if they can't be covered with normal uniform.

    That's just the way it is.
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    MembersZone Subscriber Chief_Roy's Avatar
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    We recently had to institute a policy about tattoos because a couple of boneheads wanted to push the issue. One guy actually wanted to know if I thought it'd be okay if he got a "f-you" across his knuckles, surrounded by barbed wire. Yeah junior, that's not going to fly. New policy was out by the end of the day, borrowed from a nearby metro department. It basically says that visible tattoos are allowed, but they cannot be racist, vulgar, or otherwise be considered offensive. The chief has final say on whether a visible tattoo has to be covered.

    Btw, I have a fair numbers of tattoos myself, but you can't see a single one of them even if I'm wearing a short sleeve polo. It's just not very professional as far as I'm concerned.

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    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    If this guy did your tattoos, just go ahead and file for unemployment, welfare, food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid.

    Seriously. Look at the guy's tattoos.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”
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    I have a few tattoos, but when I got them I made special attention to get them where they wouldn't be visible on the job. I am currently a captain with my Vol. company and work primarily with the head supervisor in my EMS job and there is a very few amount of people that have any clue that I have any tattoos at all. Its all about personal image and how you want to have yourself perceived.

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    Just depends on the department. My department has no rules on it, just no offensive ink showing.

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    It appears from numerous municipal workplace cases, enacting a policy that allows for any interpretation of offensive will not end well. It appears the no visible or no new visible ink would be the most likely to pass muster with the courts. Racism, vulgarity and offensiveness all allow for interpretation leading to the potential for uneven treatment of different employees.

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    Forum Member IronValor's Avatar
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    I have worked for Federal, State, and County and City agencies. For anybody that knows me they know I am covered in Tattoos. I have made no attempts to hide them and have NEVER ever ever been asked to cover them up for any reason. And they have never been an issue. As far as what it is going to be like when I am 80. Well let Me tell ya if I make it to 80 I will look at my tats and remember how awesome I was. Professional image is nothing more than personal perception. While some find a shaved head to be perfectly acceptable others might find it offensive. While some may find a pair of spit shined boots to be sharp others may think that the person has too much spare time. Tattoos are not offensive, They do not mean that you are on welfare or collect food stamps or have hep c or have been to jail. They simply mean that you view your body as a temple and decided it was time to paint the house.

    Thats My two cents and all

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    The military doesn't allow them to be seen. Why should the fire service be any different, as we are somewhat military in our organization?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    The military doesn't allow them to be seen. Why should the fire service be any different, as we are somewhat military in our organization?
    The military ban on visible tattoos is also a fairly new policy, I have met lots of older vets with the stereotype service, or unit emblem on a forearm.

    We may be like the military but, the fire service is not the military. There are a lot of things the military has gotten away with that we had to deal with decades ago (women in combat, don't ask don't tell).


    Personally I find the recent trend toward no tattoos rather odd. In all other ways we are being told we need to represent the public, we need to be diverse. I guess the tattooed members of the public don't need to be represented in the ranks of the fire service.

    Tattoos are becoming more mainsteam in the public at large, but the fire service in many areas is reacting by creating new policies against something that is becoming more acceptable to the public at large.

    I don't have any tattoos, and have never had the desire for one, but I think this will come back to bite the fire service in the butt in the courts sometime down the road. It discriminates against a perfectly legal lifestyle.

    Do we have customers who will react negatively to a tattooed firefighter? Sure, but we also have people who react poorly to just about any other feature we have.

    I have had several firefighters with visible tattoos, and none have had their tattoos impact their performance.

    That said, I still recommend people looking for a career in the fire service, not to get any tattoos.
    Last edited by Here and there; 10-31-2012 at 01:39 PM.

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