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  • Who has facial hair?

    So next week is another Academy refresher for me, and that means shaving clean again. I hated that the first time through, and I am not to happy about it this time either.

    Of course the Academy can insist on whatever dress standards it pleases, and of course I will comply, but I question the need. I base this on two things:

    1. I have a moustache, not a beard, and so if I can't get a seal on my mask, I am already in trouble;

    2. Even for the guys with goatees, if your department allows them and they don't interfere with your mask, wouldn't the training be more realistic if it reflected how these guys will be in the real world;

    3. I kinda liked the regimented and paramilitary nature of the Academy, I think it has real benefits. But this is an 8-hour refresher.

    So, does anyone wear hair? Again, I accept the authority of the Academy to do this and have no intention of causing trouble over it, I'm just wondering what other people's opinions are.

  • #2
    randsc:
    I think it comes down to liability and whether or not the mask will get the proper seal.
    I am certified to perform respirator fit testing and we are taught that even a day's growth of facial hair could cause a respirator not to seal properly.
    To my knowledge, there is no mask out there that will seal against a goatee, exceptionally long or bushy side burns or beard. Moustaches are allowed as long as they are trimmed to above the jaw line.
    Hope this helps.
    Good luck with the refresher.
    CR
    Visit www.iacoj.com
    Remember Bradley Golden (9/25/01)
    RIP HOF Robert J. Compton(ENG6511)

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    • #3
      Place copious amounts of silicone over the hair.

      As long as it is smooth you should get a good seal.

      Next weeks installment. "How to remove silicone from hair."
      Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
      Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

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      • #4
        yep I had to shave my goatee right away. And we are not allowed to have them ever. must be properly shaved every day you show up for work.

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        • #5
          Don't all men have facial hair? :-)

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          • #6
            ..........................
            Last edited by Nine3Probie; 07-28-2013, 05:59 PM.

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            • #7
              !!!!

              Originally posted by hustond
              Don't all men have facial hair? :-)
              How dare you assume all firefighters are men!!!!

              Just kidding. But there is a female fireFIGHTER on my deprtment who would actually respond that way, and in that tone. And when it caused people not to want to spend alot of time with her, she would blame the "sexist" guys for not wanting to bond with her.

              Anyway, that CR. I suspect that liability concerns are as likely a concern as any. Although even then, if a single day's growth can screw your mask, what happens at the tail end of a busy 48 hour shift? Or when vollies hop out of bed at 3:00 am? I doubt many shave before responding...

              In any case, I haven't heard anything that should prohibit 'staches. I suspect the instructors would rather just not deal with "refereeing" what is acceptable and what is not.

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              • #8
                I want to know what brand of SCBA will not seal because of a moustache!

                Sounds like maybe you just need a bigger face piece!
                Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
                IAFF Local 2339
                K of C 4th Degree
                "LEATHER FOREVER"
                Member I.A.C.O.J.
                http://www.tfdfire.com/
                "Fir na tine"

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                • #9
                  I met a crusty old Captain over in the Hudson Valley about 30 years ago who sported the nicest handlebar moustache you ever laid eyes on. Well waxed with a three coil twirl that, when streached out measured about 20 inches from tip to tip.
                  He claimed to have never had a problem with his air mask ... the wax was so heavy that the darn thing would stick flat to his face and the mask go right over it with no trouble.

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                  • #10
                    Go-tee

                    I have a go-tee trimed right to the bottom of my chin and i never have had a problem with making a good seal. I went through my academy that way and have gone to The Mississippi ARFF re-cert program and never once had a problem...

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                    • #11
                      What type of academy has a no facial hair policy? Do they pay you to go there? Can they document any safety reason for being clean shaven? I mean real citations, not stories of a guy two counties over or what an OSHA inspector said to their best friend's cousin. Do they limit hair length and earings too? The academy cannot insist on any dress or grooming standards they want. Is this a private academy or one funded by tax dollars?
                      -------------------------------
                      The OSHA regulation on facial hair:

                      1910.134(g)(1)(i)
                      The employer shall not permit respirators with tight-fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have:

                      1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A)
                      Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function. . .
                      ---------------------------------
                      It does not matter if you can pass the fit test with the neatly trimed beard.

                      I'd seriously question the requirement of shaving a moustache that does not interfere with a facepiece seal. It sounds like a decision by someone who has never actually read the respiratory protection regulations.

                      If the administration of the academy has issues understanding simple OSHA regulations, or feels they must dictate how you look for the privilage of them teaching you a refresher, I'd question the credibility of thier training as a whole.
                      Last edited by KenNFD1219; 10-16-2006, 08:27 PM.
                      -------------------
                      "The most mediocre man or woman can suddenly seem dynamic, forceful, and decisive if he or she is mean enough." from "Crazy Bosses"
                      -----------------------------------------------
                      Genius has its limits, but stupidity is boundless.

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                      • #12
                        Is the academy part of the department? If so why does it have a different policy? Sounds odd to me.

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                        • #13
                          Nope

                          Originally posted by NonSurfinCaFF
                          Is the academy part of the department? If so why does it have a different policy? Sounds odd to me.
                          Nope, the Academy is state-run.

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                          • #14
                            It's easy. OSHA says no facial hair that comes in contact with the seal on your mask. That means goatees and beards are out. I like this rule because I believe the fire service, both volunteer and career should run in a paramilitary fasion, and I don't see too many of our troops running around with goatees and beards!
                            Chris Shields
                            Lieutenant / EMT
                            Haz-Mat Technician
                            East Syracuse Fire Dept
                            Onondaga County, NY

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                            • #15
                              I'll shave the morning of my shift, but usually that's the only time. I still run as a volly with the department I started out with, but unless there's a department function I plan on attending, they're pretty lenient about the two hatters and facial hair on the fire scene, granted it's not a full fledged beard.

                              However, some mornings I run late and don't get to shave before work, but I'm still young, so I can get away with it a little better than the older guys!
                              Last edited by WFDjr1; 10-17-2006, 02:41 AM. Reason: because I can
                              These are my opinions, not those of my career department, my volunteer company, or my affiliates. And by the way, I'm not a Junior.

                              Buy me a drink, sing me a song, take me as I come 'cause I can't stay long.

                              Johnny Greene: 2/3/45-5/2/04
                              Forever in our hearts

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