101 Things the Fire Department wishes you knew



Monday, October 5

A reminder on uniforms...

I like to think I am a Professional. When summoned to headquarters or even stopping by to see the clerks at payroll, I'm in a new uniform shirt, cap and tie because you never know when you'll bump into the Chief of Department.

So imagine my surprise when we responded to our Headquarters on a medical call and I found myself without my button-up shirt.

Not really listening to the guys calling out jokingly "Grab your shirts!" I donned my navy blue, collared job shirt, zipped it up and climbed into the fire engine to respond.

20 minutes later I was doing a walk of shame.

Lessons I've learned from this event:
1. Always have your shirt at the ready. Whether you are anywhere near HQ or not, if you're not wearing it, put it on the engine anyways.

2. If you find yourself without it and out in public, don your safety coat instead of wearing just your shirtsleeves. You shouldn't be wearing your shirtsleeves out anyways.

3. When you see your engine mates donning their safety coats OVER their uniform shirts, follow suite and do the same, even if the call is a possible cardiac.

4. While assessing the patient and the Chief walks in, focus on patient care, there is time for chit chat later.

5. When the Chief says "Nice Sweatshirt" in the same tone one might say "Hey you cut me off in traffic," do not say "Thank you, Sir" while taking the blood pressure.

6. And by all means, when important papers still have to pass through that Chief's office for certain blog related issues, avoid this situation entirely.


D'oH!

10 comments:

brendan said...

Are you only supposed to be wearing your shirt? Is the jobshirt not approved? I'm confused.

Medic7 said...

I don't quite get it either... if your job shirt isn't approved uniform wear for medical calls, why did you have it on?

It shouldn't matter if you're going to HQ or The Pope's house. You're there to render medical aid, not stand tall for a uniform inspection.

As an aside, where I work, during the day, we're required to wear a button up uniform shirt to all calls. After 7pm, job shirt over T-shirt is allowed (and, I feel, appropriate).

Little Girl said...

Also, don't forget to wear your brass bars when you are suppose to, or you'll have to explain to practically every single person who walks up to you that 'Yes, I am the Acting Lead Specialist today. Yes, I do have brass brass, they are just at home. I forgot them this morning. Yes, I will have them tomorrow.'

The Happy Medic said...

The job shirts are "approved"...just not in the HQ complex.

*still slapping forehead*

Cossey said...

If they're approved for use on calls and you were on a call... I don't see the issue. (Of course, I'm not your chief. Heh.)

TOTWTYTR said...

I've heard that the military has a term for this. I think it's called "Chickenshit". As in you're trying to assess and treat a patient and your chief is concerned about your job shirt.

This reminds me of an incident several years ago in a large urban police department. An officer was shot and seriously injured. As per expectations a lot of cops showed up to donate blood, express concern, support the officer's family, and all the other things that they do.

A high ranking officer showed up and noticed that two officers were wearing long sleeve shirts, but had removed their ties. He ordered a Sgt to write them up for being out of uniform.

Seems like once they get gold on their uniforms, their priorities get all screwed up.

The Grumpy Dispatcher said...

I too am questioning this call, maybe we're missing some of the facts... or maybe we just don't "get it".

If you're wearing apparel approved for running calls, I don't see any conflict at all if you were in fact...you know, running a call.

We don't require special turnouts for fires at HC, do we?

If the uniform and PPE are appropriate and approved for general use, I cannot imagine the silliness of requiring something special for calls in a certain place for purposes of decorum alone.

In fact, I find that to be slightly unprofessional, in a way.

HM, are we reading this right?

brendan said...

Almost forgot- what's the safety coat? I assume it's not a turnout coat.

I also agree with TOTWTYTR.

The Happy Medic said...

Our uniform standards state that when responding to calls for service you will be wearing your issued uniform or issued PPE.

Job Shirts, Dept Sweatshirts and the like are often worn without too much problem.

When I mention Safety Coat it is because a certain group of employees has no turnout coat, so they are permitted to wear a safety coat (Jacket) instead of the uniform.

Rules are rules, whether they make sense or not. You can pass judgment about gold holding on too tight, but I knew the rules, had plenty of time to don my jacket without impacting patient care, I just thought it funny this happens when I'm walking the Project through HQ.

brian said...

Yeah, I hate going to HQ for this very reason...

And my boots are never shiny enough.