Station Pride Articles

Is there a Connection between Blue Eyes and Firefighters?

 Do the inherited traits of those with blue eyes predispose them to a life of serving the public and taking risks?  Jeez, what a question right?

7000 years ago, give or take, a genetic mutation caused humans to have blue eyes for the first time. ALL people with blue eyes share one common ancestor and it might be this one guy they dug up in Spain back in 2006. He has the dark-skinned genes of an African and traits of a Scandinavian to include the blue-eyed mutation.


Prior to ‘Ole Blue Eyes”, everyone on earth had brown colored eyes. Anything other than brown was a string of that one mutation. Blue is one of the more difficult eye colors to create because a certain set of genetic circumstances have to exist in order for the mutation to take effect.

Without digging too far into genetic tendencies, brown colored eyes is considered a dominate trait, while blue color eyes is considered a EyeColorChart2recessive trait.  The chances of having a child with brown eyes is far greater than having one with blue eyes. Hazel and Green form a partial mutated cocktail. Basically, both parents must possess the mutation in the DNA in order to pull it off.


What does this have to do with Firefighting?

Before we dive into the statistics I’d like to give you some personal observations from my career that led to this article.  With about 18 years on the job I’ve worked in a handful of different fire departments, both in the U.S. and internationally. What I’ve come to notice is that everywhere I’ve worked, the majority of my shift had blue eyes. At first it seemed purely coincidental, but it kept happening. As a blue-eyed firefighter myself I couldn’t help but think there was something too this.

Last month we launched a survey which polled our followers. Some of the questions WeNeedYouToTakeTheSurveywere merely, gee-whiz-bang out of curiosity and also…sometimes we wonder who’s out there and who our followers actually are. I slipped-in the eye color question just to see if, by chance, my suspicions were correct. You can still help us by taking the super short survey here.

Please keep in mind that relating eye color to personality traits or even career selection tendencies could be nothing more than possible malarkey and/or junk-science at best.

That said, the polling data is certainly telling. It should also be realized there is a racial part of this that we won’t even explore given the numbers. This topic has nothing to do with which race of human is predisposed to what eye color or what region people are from. Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 12.16.58 PMWe’re going to assume for the sake of science that human life began in Africa, evolved and mutated.  This article only highlights eye color while recognizing that it’s mainly Caucasians that would possess blue eyes. In similar fashion and oddly enough our poll takers appear to be majority Caucasian.

According to the New York Times, 1 in 6 Americans will have blue eyes. Which means that out of 318.9 million people comprising the United States population, roughly 53.1 million have blue eyes or 19.1%. The exact number isn’t clear but there are searchable sources from between 17-19% of the population possessing blue eyes.

Tracking?Station Pride Eye Color Poll

The Station Pride follower survey revealed that 45% of firefighters polled had blue eyes.

45% reflects more than twice the national likelihood of having blue eyes. How and why do we have so many blue-eyed firefighters?

What’s happening here?

Glad you asked… Interestingly enough there has been some research into this topic conducted by three different universities. One notable study by scientists at the Orebro University in Sweden suggest that iris color can be linked to personality traits. (Read here) 

It’s been discovered that people with blue eyes exhibit with these common traits, more or less.

Blue eyed people tend to have great inner and physical strength, though it’s sometimes a struggle for people to see it. Women with blue eyes were found to tolerate the pain of child-birth better. You’re also able to handle some forms of anxiety and depression better. You’re ambitious, sharp, and inquisitive. In the professional world, not much stands in your way. (here)

Could it be that the first Blue eyed person was a public servant?

What do you think?  Is there a connection?

About Jon Marr (35 Articles)
Jon Marr is a 23-year fire service veteran originally from the Rhode Island area. He currently works as the Deputy Director of Emergency Management in the Wichita Metro Area. He was previously a Station/Battalion Chief at a United States Air Force Base in Southern Spain and a Battalion Chief with the U.S. Army Garrison Kwajalein Atoll in support of the Space and Missile Defense Command. Prior to Kwajalein, Jon spent 8 years as a Fire Captain for the Area Support Group Kuwait Fire & Emergency Services Department supporting the U.S. Army Central Command throughout Kuwait. He was also a Fire Lieutenant at Forward Operating Base Falcon in Southern Baghdad, as well as 3 years working for AMR Seattle. Jon is a certified Fire Officer IV, Fire Instructor III, Fire Inspector II, Incident Safety Officer, Haz-Mat Tech/IC, holds a Bachelors degree in Fire Administration from Waldorf College and has been an EMT for 22 years. He is currently a Graduate Student. Jon enjoys scuba diving, adventure travel, and watching his 12-year-old son see the world in wonder. Jon is a firm believer in maintaining a healthy balance of pride, tradition, and safety within the fire service.

2 Comments on Is there a Connection between Blue Eyes and Firefighters?

  1. John McCann // January 2, 2016 at 2:57 pm // Reply

    I do not believe by color has anything to do as far as being a firefighter I have always had brown eyes my whole life I was a civilian firefighter at first and I continue my career as a naval firefighter in the US Navy aboard Navy ships


  2. Corin Meehan // January 10, 2016 at 7:49 pm // Reply

    I have blue eyes (and am a firefighter) I’ve noticed this in nurses, cops, teachers, and others in public service. My lady is blue-eyed, and has been a public school teacher, behavioral health case mananger, and is currently a special-ed teacher for children with severe mental and behavioral health problems. The other traits fit us as well, and many others I’ve known. Could be a coincidence but worth study.


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