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THE MALTESE CROSS by Cody Payne PDF Print E-mail


Cody Payne

The Badge of the Firefighter is the Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross has been a sign of protection and courage from the very beginning hundreds of years ago and is still seen in the same light today.

When a band of crusaders known as The Knights of St. John fought the Saracens, for the right to posses the Holy Land, they encountered a new weapon that was previously unknown to the European warriors that preceded them. This new weapon was a crudely simple but very effective and horrible device of war. It brought terrible pain and agonizing death to many of the fighters of the cross.

As the crusaders proceeded on to the walls of the city, they were struck by glass capsules containing naphtha. When the knights became saturated with this highly flammable liquid the Saracens shot fiery arrows into the midst of the army. Hundreds of knights lost their lives in this brutal act, the others risked their own lives to protect and save their Brothers-in-arms from a horrible fiery death.

These brave men that fought for the lives of their brothers became the first Firefighters. These heroic men were recognized by their fellow crusaders and honored with a badge. A badge of courage. A badge of honor. A badge of Bravery. This badge came to be known as the Maltese Cross.

The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection. It means that the Firefighter that wears it is willing to protect and lay down his own life for the safety of his brother, just as the crusaders did centuries ago. The Maltese cross is a badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage, a ladders rung away from death.

The Maltese Cross has 8 points. Each of the 8 has a very distinguished and deep meaning. The 1st point of the cross stands for Gallantry. This mean for one to have a gallant appearance, an act of marked courtesy, spirited and conspicuous bravery. A Firefighter must be dressed at all times in the looking as a gallant brave soul even in the face of danger. The 2nd

point is that of Sympathy. Sympathy is where something that affects one in the same manner as it does the next. This is crucial for the aspect that a Firefighter must be able to relate to the patient in order give the best possibly care available but at the same time keep a level of professionalism at the same time. The 3rd point of the cross is that of Tact. Tact is the keen sense of what to do and say in order to maintain good relations with others and to avoid offense. This is necessary in order to maintain a proper level professionalism.

The 4th point on the cross is observation. Observation is another aspect of the job in order to give the best possibly care. The 5th point is that of perseverance. Perseverance is needed to maintain a level health for you and your partner. The 6th point is that of loyalty. Loyalty is one of the most important points on the cross. You must have loyalty to yourself, to your partner, to your station, to the brotherhood. The 7th point is that of dexterity. Dexterity is metal skill and quickness, and readiness and grace in physical activity. This means that you must maintain a level of mental and physical ability to do your job and do it properly. The last of the 8 points is that of explicitness. Explicitness is the ability to leave no question in meaning or intent. This means that you should know what you are doing and know when to do it and be confident in your actions.

The Maltese Cross is steeped in tradition form the Knights of St. John to the Firefighters of modern day. The equipment and people have changed over the years, but the soul of the men that put their lives on the line for the brother have not. The badge still has the meaning of bravery, honor, and courage. This badge is the Maltese Cross.

Cody Payne