Firefighters have long held an incredibly important purpose of protecting citizens, families, and property. They maintain a courageous and valiant commitment to serving their communities. They serve as individuals within a team, and their uniforms reflect this. Their widely recognizable uniform and turnout gear, including their coat, helmet, and custom-made belt buckles showcase a department’s unique qualities and identities that set them apart from one another.
Belt buckles, pins, challenge coins, and patches all help create a sense of camaraderie and community among the firefighters. Pins of all kinds are awarded for years of service or rank in the fire department or to recognize the history or origin of the specific fire department. Pins are typically worn not on their turnout gear but on their Class A uniform. Class A uniforms are worn during parades, ceremonies, court appearances, and firefighter funerals.
Challenge coins are given as gifts to firefighters that have completed different training opportunities and challenges. They are typically customized to represent a particular fire department or district and can be kept or traded among firefighters from other districts. These coins invoke a sense of pride and community among those who hold them dear.
Firefighter Belt Buckles: Custom Designs
Custom firefighter belt buckles are worn to invoke a sense of community and pride, similar to coins and pins. They are inscribed with numbers, names, locations, and custom art that has meaning to a department. Belt buckles are typically worn along with their Class A uniform or everyday clothing to signify the history and pride of their home fire department and the fire department brotherhood.
The Maltese cross found on many belt buckles represents the origin of the first firefighters. The Battle of the Crusades is believed to be the first war using fire weaponry, and the Knights of St. John were the brave heroes to rescue their comrades from these fiery blazes. The cross recognizes and upholds the loyalty to save others from fire and the willingness to sacrifice oneself for that cause. Many buckles feature images of firefighting tools, including axes, ladders, hats, or hydrants. These tools are collectively called “the scramble” and signify a firefighter’s duty to be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Custom Colors in Firefighter Belt Buckles
Custom firefighter belt buckles are made of long-lasting materials that can stand up to the rigors of the job. Many are made of brass. The color red represented fire and was initially used on wagons and later trucks as a bright, alerting color to the public as the vehicle sped by. Today red is seen on many fire trucks, fire department buildings, and even fire uniforms. However, different colors can also be incorporated into custom-made belt buckles.