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PF&R Grooming Standards

Portland Fire & Rescue expects uniformed members to be well-groomed and professional in appearance when on duty.  The grooming guidelines were developed to ensure safety and uniformity, promote pride in PF&R, and foster public respect for firefighters. Provided below is a partial, summarized list of PF&R’s grooming standards. Meeting these grooming standards is a condition of employment.  Grooming standards apply to all sworn members of PF&R.

  • Facial hair
    • No beards or goatees.
    • Hair below the lower lip shall be no larger than ½ inch by ½ inch.
    • Sideburns must be neatly trimmed.
    • Mustaches must be neatly trimmed.
  • Tattoos
    • Tattoos, body art, or brands are prohibited if they are obscene, sexually explicit, denote a violent or exclusionary group, or advocate or symbolize discrimination against any sex, gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or nationality.
    • Neck and face tattoos are not allowed.
  • Hair
    • Hair must be a color naturally occurring in human hair.
    • Hair must not extend below the top of the eyebrows in front, shall not fall more than one inch over the top of the ears on the sides, or extend below the bottom edge of the collar of the duty uniform shirt in the back. While on duty, hair shall not extend below the horizontal shoulder-to-shoulder seam of the duty uniform in the back. Longer hair may be restrained with a single ponytail, single braid, single bun, or by cornrow-style braids.
    • In no case shall the bulk or style of a member’s hair interfere with wearing PF&R headgear, including hoods, helmets, and self-contained breathing apparatus facepieces.
  • Cosmetics and Jewelry 
    • Cosmetics, if worn, must be conservative and in good taste.
    • Necklaces or medallions around the neck must be kept under the PF&R shirt.
    • Earrings are limited to “post” style; the decorative front may not be larger than ¼ inch.  No more than one ear post is allowed per ear, and that post must be in the ear lobe. Ear plugs are not allowed. Earlobes expanded by rings are not permitted.
    • Aside from earrings, no other visible body piercing jewelry is allowed while in uniform or on duty.  This includes, but is not limited to, nose rings, tongue studs, eyebrow rings, etc.
    • Rings on fingers are permitted as long as they do not interfere with quick donning of gloves or turnout coats. 
  • Nails
    • Fingernails may not compromise the integrity of protective gloves and, in all cases, may not extend more than ¼ inch beyond the end of the fingertip.
    • Nail polish, if worn, must be transparent, or similar in color to the nail or nail bed.

Environmental Conditions Experienced by Firefighters

  1. Fifty to ninety percent of work time is spent outside a building and exposed to the sun, wind, rain, or snow.
  2. Firefighters must tolerate frequent extreme fluctuations of temperature.
    • Environment outside building may be 5° to 100 degrees F, but inside Firefighters are doing heavy work in hot buildings (up to 1000°F) while wearing equipment, which significantly impairs body-cooling systems.
  3. Firefighters must work in environments that vary greatly from low to high humidity. Turnout gear significantly impairs body-cooling mechanisms.
  4. There is the frequent possibility that Firefighters may be working under wet and muddy conditions.
  5. Firefighters must frequently perform sustained work on slippery surfaces including rooftops.
  6. Firefighters frequently face the possibility of sustaining a severe injury (cuts, bruises, burns, strains, fractures, or amputations) on the job.
  7. Firefighters are frequently required to perform work from aerial ladders, scaffolding, roofs or other elevations over 12 feet from the ground.
  8. Firefighters are frequently required to perform work in confined spaces or cramped body positions (e.g., attics, cars, under houses, closets).
  9. Firefighters are often required to work on or about moving machinery or equipment or in the vicinity of vehicles in motion (e.g., chain saws, fire trucks, cutting torches).
  10. Firefighters are often exposed to vibration when riding in fire trucks or operating chain saws.
  11. Firefighters are intermittently exposed to noise levels over 90 db when riding fire trucks under emergency conditions and when fighting fires.
  12. Firefighters are frequently exposed to the possibility of burn injuries caused by heat, fire, chemicals or electricity.
  13. Firefighters may have occasional exposure to non-ionizing radiation (ships or rooftops).
  14. Firefighters have intermittent exposure to dust that may contain carcinogens (such as asbestos or benzopyrene) during clean-up operations.
  15. Firefighters have frequent potential exposure to respiratory irritants, especially during clean-up operations (irritant chemicals, smoke, isocyanates, etc.).
  16. Firefighters have frequent potential exposure to toxic substances (such as hydrogen cyanide and hydrochloric acid from plastic's fires, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide or organic solvents).
  17. Firefighters may occasionally have skin contact with oil and grease, especially during maintenance and repair of firefighting equipment.
  18. Firefighters may encounter noxious odors (burning flesh, chemical spills).
  19. Firefighters may work with or near substances that may explode.
  20. Firefighters occasionally have contact with un-insulated or unshielded electrical equipment.
  21. Firefighters may encounter radiation hazards (isotopes in hospitals, laboratories).
  22. Firefighters may be exposed to infectious agents (such as hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C, TB or HIV).
  23. Firefighters are often exposed to the following stressors:
    1. Tight time frames and critical deadlines in life-threatening emergency situations.
    2. Acutely injured people and their families and friends.
    3. Crucial decisions in emergency situations that involve public safety and safety of fellow Firefighters and self.
    4. Tasks requiring long periods of intense concentration.
    5. Unpleasant situations (e.g." burned people or animals).
    6. 24-hour shifts, during which sleep is sporadic or non-existent.
  24. The job of firefighter is complex and extremely variable from shift to shift.
  25. Firefighters are required to use positive pressure breathing apparatus with 1.5 inches of water column resistance to exhalation at 40 liters per minute

EMT Training Providers

SchoolPhoneWebsiteClasses available

Chemeketa Community College, Salem

503-399-5000www.chemek.cc.or.usEMT, EMT-P, Fire Protection
Clackamas Community College, Oregon City503-657-8400www.clackamas.cc.or.usEMT, EMT-I, Fire Science, Wildland Fire Science
Clark Community College, Vancouver503-992-2262www.clark.eduEMT, EMT-P
Clatsop Community College, Astoria503-338-7650www.clatsopcc.eduFire Science, Marine Firefighting
NW Regional Training Center, Vancouver503-759-4404www.nwrtc.orgEMT, EMT-P
OHSU/OIT, Portland/Sherwood503-625-4721www.ohsu.eduEMT-P
Portland Community College, Portland503-244-6111www.pcc.eduEMT, EMT-P, Fire Science

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