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  • Body Piercing

    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, 04:35 PM.

  • #2
    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. I’m not sure how standing next to a minister changes the situation from any other call...

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    • #3
      Simple


      Take it out, or don't show up.
      IACOJ, Flatlander Division

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      • #4
        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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        • #5
          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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          • #6
            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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            • #7
              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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              • #8
                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, 09:45 PM.

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                • #9
                  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!"

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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      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:
                      "The older I get the braver I was!"

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                      • #12
                        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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                        • #13
                          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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                          • #14
                            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

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                            • #15
                              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; 07-26-2003, 12:42 AM.
                              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!

                              FF/EMT/DBP

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