Firefighters Cross Project
You can be an important part of the history of the fire service.
Fire Departments have unknowingly spread inaccurate information regarding the history of their prominent emblem, the "Firefighters Cross". The Firefighters Cross (FF Cross) has inappropriately been associated with prominent, and unrelated, cross designs such as the "Maltese Cross", "St. John's Cross" and "St. Florians Cross". None of these concepts relate to the current FF Cross in any way. The false information is so prevalent across the fire service that it threatens the historic integrity of our profession.
We are not the first to be mislead into adopting the wrong symbols for our profession. The medical profession is associated with the "Caduceus" instead of the correct symbol, the "Staff of Asclepius" (see Medical Symbol Information at the bottom of this page).
The medical profession has gotten so deep in their use of the wrong symbol that they are unable to pull out of it at this point - Don't let this happen to the fire service. Fire Street will be hosting the Firefighters Cross Project as an effort to get us back on track. If you have historical reference in the form of pictures or historical writings, then please submit them for review. Fire Street will be identifying prominent points to facilitate the actual history of our current FF Cross Design.
MEDICAL SYMBOL INFORMATION
WRONG MEDICAL SYMBOL: Interestingly, many "medical" organizations are currently using the wrong symbolism. They have adopted the "Caduceus", a short rod entwined by two snakes and topped by a pair of wings. This is actually the caduceus or magic wand of the Greek god Hermes (Roman Mercury), messenger of the gods, inventor of (magical) incantations, conductor of the dead and protector of merchants and thieves.
Hermes was the god of commerce, eloquence, invention, travel and theft, and so was a symbol of heralds and commerce, not medicine. The words caduity & caducous imply temporality, perishableness and senility, while the medical profession espouses renewal, vitality and health.
CORRECT MEDICAL SYMBOL: The appropriate symbolism for medicine relates to Asclepius' staff.
Asclepius was most probably a skilled physician who practised in Greece around 1200BC (and described in Homer's Iliad). Eventually through myth and legend he came to be worshipped as Asclepius, the (Greek) god of Healing.
Medical schools developed, which were usually connected to temples or shrines called Asclepions (Asclepieia) dedicated to Asclepius.
So, knowing this, you would be proud of the EMS symbol, the Star of Life, that appropriately uses the staff of Asclepius.