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Firefighter Tattoo Ideas

Full-time and volunteer firefighters frequently wear firefighter tattoos. It’s an easy way for the men and women to show pride in their chosen profession. Every day, these individuals put their lives on the line. In addition to fighting fires, they rescue those trapped inside buildings and help people with life-threatening injuries. Firefighter tattoo ideas include images that relate to the issues they face daily.

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Skull Tattoos

Skull tattoos are a popular choice for firefighters because they're a reminder that they face possible death each time they step onto their truck. The skulls often wear a firefighter helmet with the number of the individual’s ladder. Some designs feature realistic-looking flames surrounding the helmet, while others have more of a fantasy element. Fantasy-style tattoos use bright colours and may colour in the skull with a bright green or red.

Animal Tattoos

The fire brigade mascot is the Dalmatian, which appears in a number of tattoo designs. A popular design features a Dalmatian wearing a firefighting helmet or other clothing. You may also see the Dalmatian wrapped in a fireman’s hose. Designs featuring bulldogs are also popular, especially for firefighters with training or certification as an EMT. These tattoos can show the bulldog wearing the helmet, jacket and other clothing of a firefighter. Animal tattoos may look realistic or have a fantasy element, such as those wearing clothing.

Tribute Tattoos

Tribute tattoos highlight and memorialise fallen heroes. These are popular with firefighters who lost someone special to them, usually a former member of their squad or ladder. Tattoos remembering Sept. 11 are also popular. The firefighting tattoos come in various styles, including realistic, hand-drawn images of the individual. For Sept. 11 tattoos, an image of the Twin Towers, with the date and name of the fallen hero above it are common.

Ethnic Tattoos

One of the more common tattoos used by firefighters are ethnic tattoos, especially for those with an Irish heritage or background. This tattoo shows a large four-leaf clover, with red, orange and yellow flames surrounding the clover. You’ll also find tattoos of an Irish flag, over top of the flames or with the flames placed around the flag. An American flag with surrounding flames is also popular. These tattoos show both their jobs and their heritage.

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About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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