Firefighters in Atascadero will be able to show off tattoos, on a trial-basis


Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services will be temporarily modifying their tattoo policy for Fire Department personnel.

This temporary modification will be implemented on a trial basis, taking effect on July 8, 2019 and continuing through September 9, 2019.

The current department policy states that all existing tattoos for current employees should be covered while the employee is in "uniform and that appropriate measures, such as long sleeve shirts or short sleeve shirts that have been modified to cover the tattoo(s), trousers, or natural colored bandages, are used to cover all visible tattoos."

A request was made recently by our firefighters to allow tattoos to be visible. Fire Chief Casey Bryson is moving forward with this trial period after receiving input from the Atascadero City Council, City Manager and other Fire Chiefs around the state.

Chief Bryson has authorized the trial period and would like the public to have a part in deciding whether to implement the new policy on a permanent basis. 

Chief Bryson believes it will be a positive change for the Department; he states Without covering tattoos that are located on the arms, firefighters will stay safer and cooler during the warm summer months.  Additionally, the department will show it is open to change and is keeping pace with today’s culture.

However, during the trial period, there will be specific limitations on tattoos that can be displayed while in uniform. For example, tattoos on the hands, head, face, ear or neck area are still not allowed.

Also not allowed are any tattoos that contain racism, sexism or sexually suggestive or explicit words or symbols; obscenity or profanity; gang or drug related content; language or images that undermine City or Department values or reflect poorly on the professional image of Atascadero Fire & Emergency Services.

At the end of this trial period, they will decide if this will become a permanent policy modification, a summer time exemption, or if the Fire Department will return to current standards. 

If a decision is made at the end of this trial period to maintain the current standards, then all department members will be required to cover all of their tattoos, pursuant to policy.

The City of Atascadero will be releasing information on their Facebook page to give people a chance to respond.  

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