Beards and AMR

spm248

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Hey all, wanted to know if anyone knew anything about working for AMR in California and what the company required as far as beards/grooming standards. I trying to decide where I want to start working soon and this is something I want to consider. I am a little attached to my beard (had it for about 7 years now :rolleyes: ). I searched through old threads but didn't get all that much on specifics. Obviously it needs to be neat and trimmed but I just wanted to hear anyone's actual experiences.

Thanks
 

BLSBoy

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Unprofessional.
Hair, short. No facial hair other then a moustache, which needs to be trimmed and neatly kept.
You will see that most professionals look that way.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to go back to being a long haired surfer that I was 5 years ago, but I am a professional now. Short hair, always clean shaven.

You want the job, you will do what it takes to get it.
 

Linuss

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I have a full beard, had one in my interview and had one when I got the job offer, and I work at AMR. No problems with N-95.

Obviously my branch if AMR is fine with facial hair.
 

Lifeguards For Life

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I have a full beard, had one in my interview and had one when I got the job offer, and I work at AMR. No problems with N-95.

Obviously my branch if AMR is fine with facial hair.

You didn't have to shave for medic school?

We have to be clean shaven every day or we get to dry shave over the trashcan in the back of the classroom.<_<
 

WolfmanHarris

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Unprofessional.
You will see that most professionals look that way.

You're kidding right? I'm all for proper grooming and professional attire but this comment is just asking for attention.

Please take a moment to look at the varied attire and grooming of the following as you come in contact with them:
- Physicians
- Lawyers
- Engineers
- Nurses
- Physiotherapists
- Teachers (at least here where they are a profession with a College)

Paramedics are only now becoming a self-regulated profession in some provinces here and I know that's not the case south of the border, especially with the abysmal education standards that dominate most jurisdictions.

Professionalism is a vital precursor to becoming a profession and part of that is presenting oneself well groomed and attired; that is not however the same as applying uniform and grooming standards rooted in a paramilitary structure. These standards may not themselves be a bad idea, but let's not confuse the concepts shall we?

Leaving that aside and returning to the OP's question. Regardless of your potential employer's policy regarding facial hair, do keep in mind that a full beard will prevent a proper seal on a respirator. If you chose to keep a goatee make sure to carefully trim it so that you will still pass a fit test.
 
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spm248

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Respirator

I don't want to sound ignorant (I am not yet an EMT so maybe I am. My course is next month) but is wearing a respirator primarily for fire dept work and the like? I have found more threads about this issue and everyone mentions getting a proper seal on a respirator. That's not really an issue in a 911 response ambulance company, correct?

If I shave maybe the boys at the bar will start carding me again, that hasn't happened since I was 17 :p
 

WolfmanHarris

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I don't want to sound ignorant (I am not yet an EMT so maybe I am. My course is next month) but is wearing a respirator primarily for fire dept work and the like? I have found more threads about this issue and everyone mentions getting a proper seal on a respirator. That's not really an issue in a 911 response ambulance company, correct?

If I shave maybe the boys at the bar will start carding me again, that hasn't happened since I was 17 :p

N-95 particulate respirators are the dust mask looking things you'll be wearing quite often. In order to work effectively they must be properly fit tested to the wearer, the wearer must don them correctly and perform a user fit test.

An N-95 mask will not work effectively if facial hair is present where it needs to seal. Should be re-fit tested with any gain or loss of 10% or more of body weight, changes in face shape or structure (dental work) and regardless of any of the above once a year.

For the record I have a closely trimmed goatee and have had no problems with fit testing.
 

TransportJockey

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I'm going to be applying to AMR here in the Denver area soon and have a goatee. The best thing to do is ask during the interview and be prepared to shave it off if they say so
 
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spm248

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N-95 particulate respirators are the dust mask looking things you'll be wearing quite often. In order to work effectively they must be properly fit tested to the wearer, the wearer must don them correctly and perform a user fit test.

An N-95 mask will not work effectively if facial hair is present where it needs to seal. Should be re-fit tested with any gain or loss of 10% or more of body weight, changes in face shape or structure (dental work) and regardless of any of the above once a year.

For the record I have a closely trimmed goatee and have had no problems with fit testing.

Gotcha. That makes a lot more sense. Thanks for all the feedback.
 

VentMedic

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If your N-95 mask happens not to fit properly with your beard and you catch one of the nasty things it is supposed to protect against, you can sue your employer for allowing you to wear a beard or not informing you of hazards.

The unfortunate thing about a fit test is that it is generally only done once a year and facial hair grows everyday. Your test may be fine today but not tomorrow depending on how often you trim your beard and rate of growth. A different style of respirator may have to be recommended to accommodate your changing beard growth. Or, you can risk your health and that of your family. Usually you may just become the carrier of whatever microorganism and your small child or elderly family member will be the one who pays for your right to have facial hair.

Vanity needs to take a backseat to safety and either lose the facial hair or get a respirator that assures adequate protection for all levels of beard growth.
 

ExpatMedic0

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Our emergency workers should reflect they community serve and diversity is an important part of that. However at the same time, if a full beard or other grooming/ appearance choice effects your ability to wear protective equipment then obviously you will have to modify yourself.
 

WolfmanHarris

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Vanity needs to take a backseat to safety and either lose the facial hair or get a respirator that assures adequate protection for all levels of beard growth.

Agreed. I shave and trim my beard daily. I'm meticulous about providing clearance for the two types of N-95's I am issued at work.

My employer has in house quantitative fit testing equipment and we are able to be fit tested on demand if we've had any changes that may alter the fit.
 

Linuss

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You didn't have to shave for medic school?

We have to be clean shaven every day or we get to dry shave over the trashcan in the back of the classroom.<_<

Nope. Had to in EMT but not for medic.

Even at my internship at the FD I dint have to as, and I quote the BC "Youre EMS, not fire, you don't have to worry about the scba"
 

VentMedic

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Even at my internship at the FD I dint have to as, and I quote the BC "Youre EMS, not fire, you don't have to worry about the scba"

LOL! You're kidding? And you did your EMS internship with that FD?

The better FDs do take infection control issues seriously.
 

Akulahawk

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He should have been fit-tested for the N95 respirator, but being that he's not fire, he wouldn't have to be fit-tested for SCBA use, unless he'd be with an active Hazmat Team while being a Paramedic Intern.
 

VentMedic

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He should have been fit-tested for the N95 respirator, but being that he's not fire, he wouldn't have to be fit-tested for SCBA use, unless he'd be with an active Hazmat Team while being a Paramedic Intern.


That was my point since this FD mentioned SCBA and not N95 masks which if they are doing EMS there should be more concern about things that pertain to the medical side and not just FIRE.
 

zmedic

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My ambulance service allowed goatees but not beards because of the N95.

Interestingly there are no such rules in medical school, even though we had to get N95s. It tends not to be much of an issues since most of the docs don't have beards and unspoken peer pressure tends to keep us mostly shaven.
 

TransportJockey

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You didn't have to shave for medic school?

We have to be clean shaven every day or we get to dry shave over the trashcan in the back of the classroom.<_<

Not all schools require clean shaven. I had my goatee for Basic and medic school. Just had to keep it neat and trim and able to pass an N95 fit test
 

Linuss

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LOL! You're kidding? And you did your EMS internship with that FD?

The better FDs do take infection control issues seriously.

Could have sworn I already stated that I was fit-tested for an N95 without a problem, and as such there are no infection control issues to speak of...


Not all schools require clean shaven. I had my goatee for Basic and medic school. Just had to keep it neat and trim and able to pass an N95 fit test



Ditto. Nothing wrong if you pass the test and it's clean.
 

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