Skip to main content

Personal Appearance Standards Procedure


Branding: A permanent mark made in the skin by burning to produce scaring with the intention of creating lettering, a pattern or design.

CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act: Hair texture, hair type, or a protective hairstyle that is commonly or historically associated with race.

Tattoo: An indelible mark or figure fixed upon the body by insertion of pigment under the skin or by production of scars.


All employees shall maintain a neat, clean, well-groomed personal appearance. All clothing worn shall be of the proper fit and shall be neat, clean, and consistent with the District's policy.

Procedure – Uniformed Employees

  1. Standards for uniformed employees:
    • 1.1:  Hair shall be neat, clean, and well-groomed and worn in a manner that projects a professional image. If an individual’s hair extends below the eyebrows, hair should be pulled back to not obstruct vision. Hair shall not exceed three inches in height from the head. Should the back of the hair extend below the bottom edge of the collar, the hair shall be worn in a pulled back manner, such as a “bun” or “ponytail” style when responding to and working on an emergency scene or in a hazardous environment. Devices used to secure hair shall be plain, functional, and professional and shall be black, brown, or blue in color. Hair shall be a natural color. Subtle, non-natural colored highlights are allowed.
    • 1.2:  Mustaches are permitted providing that they do not extend to any area where the respiratory protection device seal makes contact with the skin.
    • 1.3:  Sideburns shall be neatly trimmed, not excessively bushy, and shall not cover any part of the ear. They shall not be wider than 1½ inches and shall not extend more than ¼ inch below the ear.
    • 1.4:  Beards and goatees are not permitted. A patch of hair centered below the lower lip and no greater than 1” by 1” and no longer than ¼” in height is allowed.
    • 1.5:  Items such as jewelry and eyewear shall be complimentary to the uniform and not create a safety risk.
    • 1.6:  The wearing of small silver, gold, or gemstone earrings is allowed. The decorative portion must not exceed 3mm. Earring gauges are not allowed. Earrings are limited to no more than three per ear.
    • 1.7:  Rings are permitted. No more than one ring per hand is allowed. Wedding bands and engagement rings shall be considered one ring. It is recommended that rings be made of flexible, non-metal products in order to avoid finger injuries.
    • 1.8:  Using gold, platinum, or other unnatural tooth veneers or caps for ornamentation is prohibited. Teeth, whether natural, capped, or veneer, shall not be ornamented with such things as designs, jewels, initials, or other items.
    • 1.9:  Any intentional body modification, mutilation, or intentional scarring that is excessive or eccentric is prohibited. Examples include: A split or forked tongue, foreign objects inserted under the skin to create a design or pattern, intentional scarring that appears on the neck, face, or scalp.
    • 1.10:  Members shall not wear any visible body piercing including but not limited to, eyebrow piercings, nose rings, tongue studs, etc.
    • 1.11:  Fingernails shall be kept clean and allow for the safe and proper use of medical and firefighting gloves.
    • 1.12:  Employees must be well-groomed at all times. This includes managing body odor, bad breath, and excessive use of perfume or cologne.

Procedure - Civilian Employees

  1. Standards for civilian employees:
    • 1.1:  Supervisors and division directors are responsible for ensuring employees are appropriately dressed. Questions from employees should be directed to supervisors and managers. If it is determined that an employee is dressed inappropriately, the employee may be asked to leave work to change clothing. Vacation/PTO/compensatory time leave will be charged for the missed time.
    • 1.2:  Employees must be well-groomed at all times. This includes managing body odor, bad breath, and excessive use of perfume or cologne.
    • 1.3:  Beards are acceptable and must be well-groomed.
    • 1.4:  The wearing of small silver or gold body piercing is allowed. Gauging must be solid jewelry no larger than a zero/8mm.
  2. Appropriate Office Attire:
    • 2.1:  West Metro issued logo shirts, casual shirts with collars, cap-sleeved shirts, sweaters, turtlenecks, blouses, and sleeveless blouses.
    • 2.2:  Pants include dress slacks, khakis, BDUs, and capris and should be clean and wrinkle-free.
    • 2.3:  Jeans are allowed on casual Fridays. Jeans must be clean, non-sagging, nonfrayed, and non-faded or ripped/torn in any way. Jeans must not be excessively tight.
    • 2.4:  Casual skirts and dresses that are not shorter than four finger lengths above the knee. Leggings may be worn as tights under dresses.
    • 2.5:  Footwear must be worn at all times. Dress boots (no weather related or thighhigh boots), loafers, flats, wedges, and dress sandals.
    • 2.6:  Physical fitness attire must be appropriate for the activity and only be worn while participating in physical fitness activities.
    • 2.7:  Hats are acceptable to prevent sun exposure and cancer illnesses. Hats must be approved by the division director.
    • 2.8:  Employees should always be aware of how they are representing West Metro when wearing District garments both on and off duty.
    • 2.9:  All West Metro apparel must be authorized by the division director and processed by the quartermaster.
    • 2.10:  Used/worn West Metro apparel should be given to the quartermaster for disposal.
    • 2.11:  Any West Metro apparel purchased by the District must be returned upon employee separation.
    • 2.12:  Employees performing fieldwork may have different standards of dress. Supervisors and division directors have the discretion to determine appropriate field attire.
  3. Inappropriate Office Attire:
    • 3.1:  Including but not limited to hooded/crewneck sweatshirts or t-shirts without West Metro logos, tank-tops, tube-tops, halter-tops, midriff crop-top shirts, spaghetti straps, and clothing with cartoon characters or pictures. Tops leaving shoulders and back bare unless worn under a sweater, blouse, or jacket.
    • 3.2:  Pant styles including, sweatpants, shorts, bib overalls, spandex, leggings worn as pants, and denim (with the exception that jeans may be allowed on casual Fridays).
    • 3.3:  Stilettos of any type, athletic shoes, tennis shoes, slippers, casual sandals, and flip-flops.

Procedure - All Personnel

  1. Tattoo Guidelines:
    • 1.1:  The following types of tattoos or brands are prejudicial to good order and discipline and are, therefore, prohibited anywhere on an employee's body that is visible:
      • 1.1.1:  Extremist. Extremist tattoos or brands are those affiliated with, depicting, or symbolizing extremist philosophies, organizations, or activities. Extremist philosophies, organizations, and activities are those which advocate racial, gender, or ethnic hatred or intolerance; advocate, create, or engage in illegal discrimination based on race, color, gender, ethnicity, religion, or national origin; or advocate violence or other unlawful means of depriving individual rights under the U.S. Constitution, and Federal or State law.
      • 1.1.2:  Indecent. Indecent tattoos or brands are those that are grossly offensive to modesty, decency, propriety, or professionalism.
      • 1.1.3:  Sexist. Sexist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on gender.
      • 1.1.4:  Racist. Racist tattoos or brands are those that advocate a philosophy that degrades or demeans a person based on race, ethnicity, or national origin.
    • 1.2:  Tattoos or brands, regardless of subject matter, are prohibited on the head, face, neck (anything above the t-shirt neckline to include on/inside the eyelids, mouth, and ears).
    • 1.3:  Employees may not cover tattoos or brands with bandages or make up in order to comply with the tattoo policy.
    • 1.6:  The fire chief will make the final determination of the appropriateness of any questionable tattoos or brands
  2. CROWN Guidelines:
    • 2.1:  On March 6, 2020, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act was signed into Colorado law. The Act amends the education and employment laws in Colorado to provide protections against racial discrimination based upon an individual’s hairstyle. Some of the protected hairstyles include braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, Bantu knots, Afros, and head wraps.