In the United States, professional and volunteer firefighters have a long history of heroism. Early organized fire fighting systems can be traced back to colonial days. What began as a loose community-based organization in the 1600’s evolved into an organized system of volunteers in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. The first fully-paid department was established in 1853 in Columbus, Ohio.
Appropriately nicknamed “bravest”, these men and women put their lives on the line to respond to millions of calls each year. The Bravest wear badges adorned with symbolism of the history of the firefighter role. Common symbols are: