We have slots for 25 paid-on- call/volunteer members and six paid engineers. Our department provides us with a badge and a state ID card. The ID card is only issued after a firefighters probationary period (6 months) is over and he/she is voted to be a regular member. The chief of police has to approve and sign the application for the card. I should also point out that before anyone is put on the department, even for the probationary period, they are required to undergo a background check. I think this policy makes issuing the badge or card a safer thing.
I've been with my department except for a short respite, since 1989. I'm never "off duty", but my department does issue picture ID's with our title, which are good for one year. Show up on a scene without it, and you can be refused entry. We also have window decals on our POVs identifying our department. Texas also has specialty license plates identifying us as either a "Certified Firefighter" for the volunteers, or "Professional Firefighter" for the career personnel.
my fire explorer post gives me nothing. my ems explorer post gives us id cards. my fathers dept give the members shields and id cards. but most of the people in my town, and its a pretty decent sized town know me or have seen me before.
We are given badges but nobody really wears them other then for station events like openhouses, parades, etc... I guess other then that the blue lights in my truck and the decal that says "my other ride is a fire engine." lol
My truck is immediately recognized by its extensive number of illegal emergency lights including a light bar, dash lights, grill lights and hideaway strobes. When outside the truck I always wear a firefighter shirt preferably with a cartoon character or scantily clad female with the word FIREFIGHTER or a super cool slogan on it....and then there is my shiny badge on my belt!