What does a firefighter sticker mean?

You've likely wondered what that symbol means if you've seen a firefighter sporting a sticker on his helmet or uniform. Firefighters use stickers for many things, including identifying each other and showing support for their local communities. It might be hard to believe, but the history of firefighting stickers goes back to ancient Rome! Scroll down for some fascinating facts about these stickers and their rich history.

There are so many places where you can use firefighter stickers!

-On the back of your car, so that other drivers know to get out of your way if they see you in an emergency.

-On your window so that people can see that you're a member of this amazing community.

-On your mailbox so everyone knows who to call when something happens!

-As a fun gift for your favorite firefighting friend or family member!

The Maltese Cross

The Maltese Cross symbolizes protection, service, dedication and courage. The meaning of the Maltese Cross is reflected in its shape:

  • The vertical line represents the crossbeam or shaft on which Jesus was crucified; this has been used as a symbol of Christianity for over 1,700 years.
  • The horizontal line represents the bond between God and man (God's love for us). This bond can never be broken. This is why it isn't shaped like an X or any other combination of two perpendicular lines.
  • The center circle represents Christ as a mediator between God and man; thus, through him alone, we may approach God with confidence that we will be heard."


Let's take a look at some of the most common flags used by firefighters:

  • Station numbers-These flags are displayed on fire engines and other vehicles to show the number of the station where they're from. They can have any design or color scheme but usually include only numbers, not words or symbols.
  • Firefighter rank- The rank of firefighters is usually denoted with stripes on their helmets and/or jackets; however, sometimes, it's also displayed in flag form on their vehicles and in their workplaces.
  • These flags can also be used for promotional events like car shows or parades (the latter being "float banners").
  • Fire departments/companies- Often, when you see someone wearing something with a badge or shield labeled "Fire Department" on it—whether it be an actual patch or sticker—it means they work for said department instead of having been hired directly by that particular city or region (which would have its logo).

Helmet Numbers

The helmet number is another important part of your firefighter sticker. It's a way for firefighters to identify themselves, members of their station, and other emergency personnel in an emergency.

A helmet number also lets the public know who they're dealing with: Is that firefighter from station #457 or #403? The helmet number helps them know what to expect from the person in front of them.


A call sign is a nickname of sorts that identifies firefighters and other fire department employees. Typically, the call sign is linked to an individual's last name or first initial. For example, if your last name was "Smith," you could be known as “Smith 1” or another number—or whatever your station chief thinks would be appropriate!

Call signs are also used to identify fire engines at stations. For example, Station 51 uses Engine 51; Station 35 uses Truck 35; and so on. You can see how this might make it easier for dispatchers to communicate with firefighters. At the same time, en route to a fire—it eliminates confusion over who's driving what vehicle when multiple trucks at one station respond to an emergency.

Finally (and perhaps most importantly), call signs can help identify entire departments from afar by including some combination of letters and numbers in their names. For example, Rochester Fire Department may use RFD1 (for Rochester Fire Department Division 1) instead of calling themselves "Rochester FD."

Dog Tags

Dog tags are a form of identification worn by military personnel and emergency workers. They are usually made of metal and worn around the neck but can also be attached to other areas such as an ankle or wristband. The most common type of dog tag is circular and contains an individual's details, such as name, rank and service number.

Dog tags were first used in World War I when soldiers wore them as part of their uniform so that if they were killed in action, their bodies could be identified by the enemy troops who found them.

Pipe and Drum Bands

Pipe and drum bands are a tradition in fire stations and have many benefits. A pipe and drum band is a way to keep firefighters happy by providing them with something to do during their downtime at the station. It's also a way for firefighters to stay in shape, as they practice several times per week and play at events throughout the year. Pipe and drum bands keep firefighters entertained by being able to perform concerts for their community; this gives them an outlet, so they don't get bored while they're on shift.

Firefighter stickers have a rich and interesting history tracing back hundreds of years.

Firefighter stickers are a long-standing tradition. They’re used to show support and pride for firefighters, their families and the fire service in general. Firefighters have been using these stickers since the 1930s and have evolved. The first ones were simple “I Love Firefighters” stickers that could be bought at stores or given away by local fire departments. Today, firefighter stickers come in all different shapes and sizes with multiple colors and designs printed on them.


Firefighters are incredibly diverse people, and the stickers they use reflect this. Each sticker tells a story about its owner’s life, so it’s important to respect the significance behind each one. Firefighters use their stickers to connect with other firefighters, but they also serve as an important identifier in an emergency where seconds matter.

Related to firefighter sticker

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