Fire Department – A service that puts out fires, most often funded by local taxes. In the United States, its departments may be responsible for fire protection and providing first aid to victims. Members of the organization began using the modern fire engine in 1906, a year after it was invented. Springfield firefighters were the first to receive this privilege.
Meaning and History
Many public fire departments in the United States operate within the country, state, county, or individual localities. There are also specialized and private organizations. They may be crewed by volunteers or professionals. The only thing they all have in common is a firefighter logo in the shape of a cross.
Now it is commonly thought that the Fire Department logo depicts the Maltese cross: an eight-pointed figure of four V-shaped elements connected at the center of the sharp angles. This cross was borrowed from the Knights Hospitallers, who decorated their armor to distinguish each other on the battlefield. Metal plates completely covered warriors’ faces, so they did not understand who was an associate or an enemy in front of them.
During battles, the knights involuntarily had to put out fires because their main adversaries, the Saracens, had learned to use fire as a weapon. So they earned the title of firefighters, and the Maltese cross became a symbol of protection. According to historical records, it was first adopted as the emblem of the New York Fire Department in the mid-1860s.
According to another version, the firefighter logo depicts an entirely different sign, the Florian cross. It is more consistent in form because it consists of four shaped “petals” lined up along a circular center. This eight-pointed cross appeared in the 4th century when a Roman officer Florian created several fire brigades on behalf of the army leadership. They were not the only ones, but the best in the city. Florian was executed because of his religious views, and later Christians recognized him as a saint. He is now the world-famous patron saint of firefighters.
The Fire Department symbol is more similar in structure to the Florian cross than the Maltese cross. It consists of four separated parts, which contain two rounded corners. At the top is the white word “FIRE,” and at the bottom is “DEPT,” with a square dot at the end. The above-ground fire hydrant is shown on the left, and the right “petal” contains a ladder and a bugle.
The center circle is occupied by a whole set of firefighting equipment, including a helmet, ax, and horn, which was used in the olden days to signal fires. In the background, you can see the crossed bugles and ladder, but they look different from the similar elements on the right side. First, they are not three-dimensional but two-dimensional. Secondly, they do not have black hooks on their ends.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The name of the Fire Department is written in large white letters without serifs. Only the bottom of the “R” has a small resemblance to a serif. The font is bold, uppercase, and noncontrasting. The lower horizontal stroke of the “F” is slightly shortened, as is the middle line of the “E.”
Red and white are the traditional colors of the fire department in the United States. The logo is complemented by gold and black, the latter being used mainly for outlines so that the elements are better visible and don’t blend.