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Thread: Body Piercing

  1. #1
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    Question Body Piercing And Firefighting

    I have a strange concern. We now have a couple of firefighters in our department that have their tongues pierced. My concern is one they are both interior firefighters. One is a male and one is a female. The female firefighter plays with hers all the time, she might be standing over a patient that was ejected from a car, that is fully awake, or on the steps of a church during a fire alarm, with the minister standing beside her.To me this is not professional even for a volunteer fire department. Is there any way we can handle this without hurting feelings?

    Thanks for any help.
    Last edited by hsfd121; 07-24-2003 at 03:35 PM.


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    Interesting situation! In my department, no one has gone beyond ear piercing which the department permits. I am not sure what the effects are of live fire on a tongue ring, but that is something that you may want to contact your local training academy about or do some research. As far as professionalism goes, I am on the fence about this one. I feel that this is something that could be allowed to have, but have your members try not to play with it while on calls. Iím not sure how standing next to a minister changes the situation from any other call...

  3. #3
    MembersZone Subscriber F18Wub's Avatar
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    Simple


    Take it out, or don't show up.

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    Senior Member MFDExplorer51's Avatar
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    For the professionalism part of it all, it is definetly on the fence. The least you can do, that would easily fix the problem is ask her not to play with it as much. Other then that, I do not know if you have the authority to tell her to take it out. I really dont know. I am sure someone on here will however.
    IACOJ

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    I want to thank everybody that has replied to the posting.

    She has been told several times not to play with it. I also failed to state that she is only 18 years old. The only other thing that concerns me is the interior attacks. Would there be any risk with the piercing? Like cracking their teeth, or other injuries that the fire dept. would have to pay for thru insurance. Even around the fire dept functions she has been warned.

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    1 st what does getting a paycheck have to do with professionalism?

    2nd I think that if the Chief or Captian perceives this as an infraction of dress code or a possible a hazard to the patient, then these 2 should be sat down and explained why, and asked to remove it during duty. If they do not comply, then I don't know what you can really do about it.

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    This problem can be corrected by your dept having a code of Conduct and a set of Core Values. Discipline must be maintained at all times.

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    If she has been told not to then she shouldnt and if she does and she respects you. Then pull her aside and tell her your concerns with her playing with it. Her being 18 should know when and when not to play with it.
    Last edited by Quigger; 07-24-2003 at 08:45 PM.

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    Talking

    She's 18, has her tounge pierced and likes to play with it. Ummm... Kinda sounds like that isn't what's really bothering you. If it bothers you that much, quit lookin!
    Vintage Firefighter:
    "The older I get the braver I was!"

  10. #10
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    Welcome to the new world order!

    This is something we're all going to have to deal with sooner or later. My dept, too, has a young lady who just got her tongue pierced. Her showing up with this thing prompted a casual discussion on the apparatus floor among several members, and she knows that I feel that it is unprofessional-looking, and that it actually interferes with her speaking clearly ("Bu' Chief, i' doesssen' bodder my schpeeth a' aw!"). It also instigated a show-and-tell among the younger members showing off the various new holes that they had inflicted on their anatomies! I just stood there shaking my head. It's tough to get old.

    Anyway, last time I ran into her, she wasn't wearing the tongue stud. Maybe she got tired of talking like Elmer Fudd.

    I'm thinking about writing a standard about this - basically that no visible body-piercings shall be permitted on duty. Problem is, what do you do with the folks who have ear rings? If you take a hard stance on this, such as for safety (infection?) reasons, then what do you say about the more socially-accepted practice of ear-piercings?

    Is there any real supportable grounds for such a prohibition?

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    Chief; If it can be controlled in the public eye, I don't think so. Self expression and pride in your department, you would hope, would go hand in hand. We do have a general policy, that you will wear your ball cap with the bill in the forward position, and your pants better cover your underwear. As far as piercings, there is an earring here and there, if they have anything beyond that they are keeping it to themselves.
    Vintage Firefighter:
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    I have my tongue pierced, and have no problem concealing it from anyone I dont want to know. The first thing is, if the person has problems talking on the fireground, this could be a hazard. You must be able to communicate clearly at all times. I know a lot of people who have tongue piercings that can barely talk. I am not one of them. As for safety on the fireground, that isnt a problem. My mouth is the just about the least exposed of anything when I am fighting a fire. Finally, as for professionalism - sitting over a patient or other people and constantly clicking or playing with the ring is not very professional. I understand the urge, but it can be controlled long enough to finish your job at the scene. The reason I got the piercing was because I like to chew on things-straws, toothpicks, plastic-anything I could get. But I have to much going on and am thinking about to many other things on the fireground to worry about playing with the ring. I am 27 now, and the only reason I still keep it in is to get a rise out of people. But if its that much of an issue, tell them to get a "no see um". It is a small ring with a flat metal bottom and a pink plastic top, and it fits snugly on the tongue. No one can tell they have the piercing, there is no possible way they can play with it, and the hole in their tongue wont close up. Everyone is happy...
    "Non Sibi, Sed Aliis"

    "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
    GOD BLESS OUR FALLEN BROTHERS

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    Default enough already

    pierced tongue, pierced nipples, pierced ears, or penis a good firefighter is a good firefighter. can we really dictate how we dress or act? being from a completely volunteer company I value my brothers and all the help I can get. we write policy when we are uncomfortable or when some one gets hurt. I agree that there should be rules and regulations don't get me wrong and I am a stickler for the rules but when we start to dictate into the personal lives of our brother or sister firefighters where do you draw the line. only wear white pants on mondays, don't dye your hair, and when your in the firehouse always face east. people are individuals that what makes us unique and diversity is what makes this country great. thank you for letting me have my two cents worth. PTB

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    How does you rlues and regulations read concerning piercings? If it states that a person (male/female) cannot have them then it needs to go. If it does not state anything about piercings then you will have to deal with it or take it up the chain of command to try to get the rule and regs changed.

    I do think it looks unproffesional. Thats my opinion

  15. #15
    Forum Member HeavyRescueTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: enough already

    Originally posted by firefighterdfd7
    pierced tongue, pierced nipples, pierced ears, or penis a good firefighter is a good firefighter. can we really dictate how we dress or act?
    personally, i don't see why any guy would want to pierce their penis. i wouldn't want anything poking a hole in my genitals.

    back to the topic at hand, if it interferes with her job, then yes, your chief or captain has every right to request that she remove it. i don't think anyone is saying that FFs and EMTs shouldn't have piercings, but rather that while they are on duty/on calls, they should remove them. last i checked, most piercings are removable.

    if it prevents her from speaking clearly, or is visible to the public, then she should be told to remove it while she is on duty.

    if you can hide it (as MadOx23 does), then by all means, keep it. if the public doesn't know you have it, then your supervisors probably won't care.
    Last edited by DrParasite; 07-25-2003 at 11:42 PM.
    If my basic HazMat training has taught me nothing else, it's that if you see a glowing green monkey running away from something, follow that monkey!

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    Just tell her to keep her mouth shut....end of problem! All kidding aside, I too agree that you need to have a guideline in place that deals with a company dress code.
    D. Hager
    Paramedic

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    Senior Member raven911's Avatar
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    Everyone knows cultural standards cahnge over the years. What is normal and accepted for the new generation is deploreable by the old. Eventually it will become accepted, much to the chagrin of the old timers. I agree that guidlines should be developed for appearance, but it may not be possible to eliminate stuff like this. Some other fad will just take its place.
    IACOJ Military Division
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    MembersZone Subscriber F18Wub's Avatar
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    I was told back when I first started, not too long ago, that as a new guy, I was to join the culture of the fire service. That I join into it, and accept that it is what it is. That it does not change to suit you. I stand by my decision. If you want to ride, take it out.

  19. #19
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    Default Really

    Rookies are carrying their cel phones and pagers on duty. Their phone rings, they answer it and go right into cel yell with their friends and relatives. Wives, girl friends and dysfunctional others call all day long with "Important Stuff" and to do pillow talk. Cel phones are ringing in locker rooms. Some try to be cool by putting their cel phones and pagers on vibrate. Even though they might not answer them when they go off, they still pick them up to check the caller ID or the text message. Then when they think no one is looking, they slip off and return the call. THIS IS DUMB! These are not part of your emergency issue.

    This will not get you off on the right foot. Big clue here. Leave the electronic leashes off and in your vehicle along with your piercings until a time where all your duties are complete. No matter what you might think and how friendly everyone seems to be, you are being watched! It could hurt you big time.

    Another twist: Your worst nightmare could be your young daughters date showing up to pick here up and you know he has eight piercings and none of them are visible.

    Captain Bob

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    Default Tatoos too?

    Are you auditioning to become a firefighter or a pirate?

    Would you show up for your oral board with a mohawk hair cut? Piercings and tattoos make the same extreme statement.

    It might be easier from the inside looking out than on the outside looking in. The goal is to have the least amount of distrations in the process to get hired and then keeping the job. Having piercings and tattoos that will be visible during the physical agility, medical, the oral board, the psych, and the academy if you are hired are not going to work in you favor.

    Yea, you can wear a long sleved shirt. We had a guy who had to do that on duty. While we were wearing our summer short sleve shirts, Mr. Tattoo had to wear his long sleve wool shirt in hot weather to cover up his color.

    Even though it is more acceptable with this generation, that's not who is sitting on the oral baords and those making the decision who is going to get a badge. It's perception that can make the difference. I wouldn't want to be perceived in the wrong way for this semi military organization with the baggage a tattoo might bring.

    You don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

    From a candidate:

    O.K..my 3 cents worth. I'm pretty much set in my ways and I refuse to conform to anyones mindset on how I'm suppose to look. Back when I was actively testing, I had [ and still do ] spiky bleached hair, long side burns, a flavor saver, piercings, and tattoos. Never once did I try to hide them or " take a break and conform to the ' testing standards / appearance '" My thought process was that " This is who I am, give me a chance based on merit & character, not my appearance and I'll prove to you that you made the right choice by choosing me !". If they didn't choose me, then I really didn't want to give that dept. 30 yrs of service anyways. Call me cocky or arrogant, but its what I believe in. 3 interviews in 1.5 months time and I ended up w/ 3 official job offers [ passed the conditionals just fine ]. Call it dumbluck if you want, I'd think that way to, if it was just 1 , maybe 2 offers, but to have 3 offers of employment, now I'm thinking maybe they DID judge me based on merit & character. I'm sure it didnt hurt that I did have previous paid fire experience, ALS time, and state fire marshal officer & instructor classes, but these were for entry level positions, just like a majority of what the candidates on this message board are going for. It does go to show that even in todays society, where many people are still narrow-minded enough [ Capt.Bob w/ his "pirate" comment ], that you still do have a chance at getting the 'job'. I've yet to experience a pt. who was in distress, refuse tx. from me due to my appearance, just like I've yet to have someone not back me up on the hoseline to due to my "hairstyle" or ink work on my skin, and I've yet to recieve any complaint from any citizen or visitor to our city regarding my appearance on a call for service or at ANY community events where I was a representative of our dept. It's more about having a positive attitude and confidence. 1st and foremost, im a individual, secondly I'm a fireman. If a dept wont give you a chance due to your beliefs or ability to expressing your individuality, then clearly its not a place where you want to give a 1/3 of your life to. There is a fire dept. out there for everyone, you just have to find it.
    BTW : Something to think about.Who would you rather have working on your mother or father: a very clean-cut, mustached, uniformed pressed, straight toothed firefighter / paramedic who has very weak drug knowledge and is having difficulty deciding on whether or not your mom or dad meets the criteria for symptomatic pulsing v-tach, or would you rather have that multi-colored hair, piercings, tattoos, and shirt untucked firefighter / paramedic [ pirate in Capt. Bobs case ], who graduated top of his medic class and fire academy and is a great street smart medic who can differentiate between stable and unstable pulsing v-tach quick enough to know he / she needs to be sync'd ? Who would be more beneficial to your parent ? I'm thinking right about now, a little hair dye and ink work isnt such a bad thing, but thats just me.

    Reply:

    Points well taken. It's tough to argue with success. It proves again there are exceptions to every rule. Unfortunately, not all agencies are as tolerant as "The City" in their hiring.

    They donít call it the peopleís republic of San Francisco for nothing (Iím 3rd generation San Franciscan). This is a city where the medical plan will pay up to $50,000 towards you or your partners sex change operation.

    For every fire/medic job now there are only 12 candidates. As the last SFFD medic test proved, the supply of lateral medics has declined too. I don't believe a non-medic would have the same success as you have. Again the goal is to have the least amount of distractions in gaining a badge.

    As usual, we'll let the audience decide.

    www.eatstress.com

    888-238-3959

    Fire "Captain Bob"
    Last edited by CaptBob; 07-27-2003 at 04:21 PM.

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