station 22 - Gentry VFD
The Maltese Cross
When a courageous band of crusaders, the Knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for possession of the Holy Lands, they were faced with a new device of war---FIRE!
As the crusaders advanced on Jerusalem, the Saracens pelted them with glass bombs full of naphtha and then threw down flaming torches. Hundreds of knights were burned alive while others risked their lives to save their kinsmen from painful fiery deaths. Thus these became the first firefighters. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded them with the badge of honor similar to the cross firefighters wear today.
Since the Knights of St. John lived nearly four centuries on the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross. The firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for others, just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man centuries ago.
The Star of Life
The Star of Life is the symbol representing Emergency Medical Technicians. Both the American Medical Association and the Advisory Council within the Department of Health and Human Services encourage this symbols use. The symbol's six-barred cross represents the six-system function of EMS: Detection; Reporting; Response; On Scene Care; Care in Transit; Transfer to Definitive Care. The staff in the center of the symbol represents medicine and healing. According to Greek mythology, the staff belonged to Asclepius, the son of Apollo (god of light, truth, and prophecy). Asclepius supposedly learned the art of healing from the Centaur Cheiron. But he elicited the wrath of the god Zeus when he started resurrecting people from the dead. Fearful that Asclepius' knowledge might render mankind immortal; Zeus slew Asclepius with a thunderbolt. Eventually Zeus restored Asclepius to life, making him a god. Asclepius is usually shown in a standing position, dressed in a long cloak and holding a staff with a curative serpent coiled around it, an image that Zeus later set among the stars.