Leadership

Off With the Beards!

Issue 3 and Volume 124.

Off With the Beards! The Editor’s Opinion Page At one period in the dark ages of fire fighting, the brothers were required to grow beards—real honest to goodness beards that came all the way down to the belt line. The beards, believe it or not, were used as a type of breathing equipment ’gainst the heat and smoke. Before entering a burning building, the doughty fire laddie would drench his beard with water and stuff it into his teeth. Then, by breathing through his mouth, he had what was in effect the first filter mask. There was only one thing wrong: it didn’t work. Eventually more intelligent minds prevailed and the beards were stroked off. Alas, beards have once again reared their ugly heads, or should we say cheeks and jowls, in the fire service. This time as a hindrance to fire fighting rather than a potential aid. Now mind…

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