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  • tree68
    replied
    I just finished a round of fit testing here for several departments (including my own). Everybody passed, even a couple with a suspect amount of facial hair. Well, not everybody - one fellow who almost certainly won't be wearing SCBA did the test just for the heck of it and didn't pass. I suspect his problem was using the wrong size mask - he had no facial hair.

    There were no full beards - only a goatee or two and several with a fair bit of "ugly stubble."

    An area where facial hair can be a problem is oxygen enriched atmospheres/breathing apparatus. The hair will absorb the oxygen, rendering it just that much more flammable.

    Leave a comment:


  • DCFDRescue2
    replied
    Originally posted by Capt387 View Post
    I would hope that in 2011 all career dept's had a clear and defined policy on facial hair and that they fit tested annually. It is clearly defined in OSHA 1910.134 that there will be no facial hair that would effect the seal of the mask. By not following this to the letter would just open the liability can of worms in "not" protecting the firefighters. With that being said, to me there is no difference with career or volunteer except for the paycheck (and yes I do both). I understand the fact that they are "volunteering" their time but also if it is a career or volunteer firefighter there needs to be an element of professionalism. My own VFD currently does not fit test. They have discussed it and pretty much let it drop when I told them they would need to have a facial hair policy also as it does no good to have them shave for fit testing and within a couple of weeks have a full beard and think they can make safe entry into a house fire

    I think OSHA makes a distinction between a respirator and SCBA. The SCBA section doesn't mention anything about facial hair, it's only in the respirator section.

    I had a pretty full goatee for a number of years and never had a problem with either a fit test or a fire.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jay Remmy
    replied
    Originally posted by Chenzo View Post
    I hate shaving. lol.
    I agree. I am just a fan of at least having some sort of fur on my face, and even though I would be completely willing to shave clean to volunteer, it's just nice to know that I could possibly still rock the upper-lip caterpillar

    Leave a comment:


  • Chenzo
    replied
    No facial hair on the jawline, or where it would interfere with the seal of your mask.

    Mustache, soul patch, sideburns (as long as they don't interfere) are all acceptable at my department. Is it followed? By most. Am I guilty of not following it from time to time? Yeah. I hate shaving. lol.

    Leave a comment:


  • FireRescueLupo
    replied
    I love the mustache myself, my volunteer department does not allow any hair below the centerline of the lips or some sort of wording like that, middle of the mouth. The soul patch has been overlooked here and there depending on who actually sees it. We have an engineer that does no masking up, just drives and pumps and he is the only one with a goaty that I know of, he had an exception written.

    Leave a comment:


  • tree68
    replied
    Originally posted by kjohn23 View Post
    Did not need that visual ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww
    Here you go:

    You're welcome.

    Leave a comment:


  • kjohn23
    replied
    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer View Post

    I've seen females with upper lip hair too.
    Did not need that visual ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    Leave a comment:


  • Capt387
    replied
    I would hope that in 2011 all career dept's had a clear and defined policy on facial hair and that they fit tested annually. It is clearly defined in OSHA 1910.134 that there will be no facial hair that would effect the seal of the mask. By not following this to the letter would just open the liability can of worms in "not" protecting the firefighters. With that being said, to me there is no difference with career or volunteer except for the paycheck (and yes I do both). I understand the fact that they are "volunteering" their time but also if it is a career or volunteer firefighter there needs to be an element of professionalism. My own VFD currently does not fit test. They have discussed it and pretty much let it drop when I told them they would need to have a facial hair policy also as it does no good to have them shave for fit testing and within a couple of weeks have a full beard and think they can make safe entry into a house fire

    Leave a comment:


  • st42stephenAFT
    replied
    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    I've seen females with upper lip hair too.
    HAHAHA


    It all depends on the dept. really. I know most places want a clean shaven (around every 3 days or so) for the beard. If you have a lot of beard hair, sometimes the mask won't seal correctly, or so is the justification for that. Hence why mustaches are accepted some places, as it doesn't interfere with the mask securing.

    As for volly vs paid, again depends on the dept. I know of people in my department who had fully on grizzly beards for a while, and nothing was said to them. But also, a neighboring department changed their policy, and if you showed up to a call with unacceptable facial hair, you got suspended.

    So, like most things, find out what your department wants from ya, and conduct yourself accordingly.

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptOldTimer
    replied
    Members, males, do wear them, Mustaches, and in some places beards are worn as well.

    I've seen females with upper lip hair too.

    Leave a comment:


  • Jay Remmy
    started a topic The Mustache

    The Mustache

    I was wondering what the general policies on facial hair are.

    Now obviously you can't be fighting fires with a Grizzly Adams beard,
    But when I think of a fire fighter with facial hair, I think of a mustache.
    I was just wondering how departments feel about fire fighters having facial hair.

    Also, is it different for paid vs. volunteer?

    Thanks in advance for those who respond

    :-J Remmy

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