Firefighter Tattoos and Fire Department Tattoo Policies

The other day, I asked about firefighter tattoos on the Fire Critic Facebook Page. I got a bunch of responses as always because I have the best and most responsive fans/readers!

If you missed out on sharing your tattoo…email me at and I will post more in a future post!

This whole thing was spurred by an email I received about tattoo policies. My department might have a tattoo policy, but it is not strict. I personally don’t have any tattoos…yet. I have wanted to get one since I was 18, but have never pulled the trigger. I want to get something that I won’t mind looking at and showing off.

Anthony Miske tattoo as seen on

Does your department have a grooming policy which includes tattoos?

One department I know just implemented a policy. Among the obvious prohibited “lewd” tattoos it includes:

  • Visible tattoos must be covered up.
  • Future employees are not allowed to have visible tattoos.
  • Current employees may not obtain visible tattoos.
  • Nothing above the shoulders is allowed.
  • Tattoos must be covered up by long sleeve shirts.
  • Bandages may not be used to cover up tattoos.

I will say that I think tattoos above the shoulders are unprofessional in most professions including ours. Sleeves don’t bother me, but lewd tattoos on the arms should be covered up.

Trevor Bertram. My daily tribute reminder of the 343 who climbed on 911. This one is my favorite.

What do you guys think? What is acceptable? What isn’t?

Maybe I should do a fund-raising contest that if I reach a certain goal I will get a tattoo? What do you think? had a bunch of tattoos submitted for a contest he did a while back. Check them out here.

Here is one note that accompanied a tattoo pic:

Hey I know your looking for pics. I Had mine done to include both fire and ems, and it also includes a three leaf clover that shows some of my heritage. My tat was done by Andi at Red Octopus Tattoos in Prince Frederick, Maryland. She has done a bunch of tattoos for firefighters and fire dept art. I am including her Facebook link if you want to get in contact with her and I am including her album link. Hope this helps

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