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The Great Mustache Debate

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The Great Mustache Debate

What are your departments rules on facial hair...namely mustaches. Lots of debate in the east recently about size, shape and length. How long is your mustache?

Members: 9
Latest Activity: Feb 22, 2011

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Comment by Bradford James Terry on February 22, 2011 at 2:19pm
Funny, our department went through this about 8 years ago.  Our chief at the time all of a sudden decided he would go by the book and not allow any facial hair to touch the seal of the mask. Actually it was caused by members pushing the facial hair policy limits.  We were about 60 members at the time, all full time and union. We filed a grievance, chief held his ground and the grievance went to the mayor.  We were tested again and found no effect on the seal, (old Survivair), met with mayor on grounds of no effect and a sudden change in rules, working conditions without negotiation.  We agreed to write a better policy with guidelines and the mayor agreed with us.  If you would like a copy of our policy shoot me an email.  We can have mustache/soul patch with hair 3/4 inch long and wide down to jaw line.  
Comment by Brad Hoff on February 14, 2011 at 8:10pm

We have a contractor who does our extinguisher and SCBA maintenance. We get a yearly physical and then we get our fit test from the contractor. A lot of us have staches and are told we can only test if we are clean shaven. The contractors policy in accordance with OSHA and NFPA says that personnel must be clean shaven and no facial can touch any part of the mask seal. Any place the hair touches the mask the tester will refuse to test until the hair is not in interference with the seal. So in my opinion it is putting tradition over personal safety because if something were to happen then an investigation would be done to find the underlying cause of injury or worse, death. 

The question is where do we place life safety and tradition on the scale? I am for both so when it comes down to having a seal that will keep me safe I will do what it takes to pass a fit test and shave or take it all off and roll the dice with a mustache on the job.

Comment by brian white on November 6, 2010 at 8:31pm
i agree! if the facepiece seals, grow it!
Comment by brandon earley on January 31, 2009 at 9:55am
i think that having a mustache is a great tradition in the fire service and needs to be carried on. as long as your face piece fits, you should be allowed to have one.
 

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