Bearded or mustached firefighters re-authorized to work

Firefighters. (Drawing) – Gilles Varela

The FFP2 masks ineffective in the presence of facial hair? This is what was written in a note dated March 16 from the fire and rescue service of
Moselle (Sdis 57). In fact,
firefighters who wore
the beard or
the moustache had been sent home because they could not properly wear the coronavirus protective masks.

On Monday, the Strasbourg administrative court asked for the reinstatement of the Mosquito and bearded Moselle firefighters. Two firefighters obtained an interlocutory suspension of this decision which prohibited them from intervening if they were not shaved close. Some had complied with the injunction to shave, others had refused. In total, 25 Metz firefighters, resistant to a razor blow, had been suspended and ordered to return home.

“The court considered that there was an urgency to reinstate them and has raised a serious doubt” on their placement in special leave of absence, added the source close to the file.

The Sdis will apply the court decision but will not yield

According to Colonel Vallier, at the head of Sdis 57, the court decision will be applied and the agents have been “told that they will come back”. But if they choose to keep their beard, Sdis 57 will continue to apply “the precautionary principle” and will adapt their missions, he warned, questioned by the AFP. “They will be safe, will not be exposed” to victims carrying the virus and will not go into intervention in trucks, in confined spaces, detailed Colonel Vallier, explaining that they “will prepare operations for example for their colleagues ” “The court did not rule on the beard” itself, he said.

In addition to the referral to the administrative court, complaints of “discrimination” on the grounds of physical appearance had also been filed.

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