1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Ribbons for Uniform

    Hello everyone,

    quick question here. I was wondering if anyones service uses ribbons to pin to your uniform for official events. I was wondering what your policy was regarding ribbon/medal/award use on uniforms. I was also wondering as to what ribbons are awarded for what. I was thinking about using ribbons on uniforms to recognize contribution by members for valor, years of service, injury, etc...you get the idea. I was hoping to see what other departments are doing in this field.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    SafetyPro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Santa Cruz, CA


    We don't currently have any sort of medal/ribbon program. The only awards that are given are FF of the Year, EMS Award and Utility Award for which you get a plaque and usually a gift (the FF of the Year also has a perpetual plaque in the station).

    The only sort of recognition item that is wearable are the 5 year pins. These are worn on the left sleeve of the dress uniform, just above the rank stripe. In the past, these were presented at the annual awards dinner, but are now going to be presented at City Council meetings.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  3. #3
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999

    Arrow Just two for now...

    Until December 2004, we were a division of a Department of Public Safety (i.e. police department with fire engines).

    The awards given by the DPS for firefighters included lifesaving and good conduct. Lifesaving is for, well, saving a life -- almost always on EMS runs. Good conduct is awarded for making it five years without being suspended. (It seems that during a previous administration, this was considered a spectacular feat.)

    The metal commendation bars for each award are worn below the badge. A bar is given for the first award. For each additional award, a silver star is added to the bar.

    Now that we're on our own, we are looking at expanding the awards program and making it unique to the fire department.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Plymouth Meeting, PA


    My company wears ribbons on our dress uniforms. They are given out for valor, firefighter of the year, etc. We just started it a few years ago and are looking at expending the program.

  5. #5
    Early Adopter
    cozmosis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1999

    Lightbulb Here's An Idea...

    Here is a draft for future awards procedures in our department. It's still in review, so it may or may not be adopted whole or in parts.

    202.27.1 PURPOSE:
    To establish a program to acknowledge members who perform acts beyond the scope of their normal duties. Such recognition shall be given to events that include, but are not limited to, acts of heroism, valor, bravery, merit or other exemplary service by members during either emergency or non-emergency service.

    202.27.2 PROCEDURE:
    A. Department Awards
    1. Medal of Honor – The Medal of Honor may be awarded to a member who distinguishes his/herself by performing an act of extraordinary personal bravery or heroism so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual’s act while engaged in the mediation of a fire, medical emergency, rescue, hazardous materials incident or other type of response. The Medal of Honor may be awarded posthumously to the family of a member who, because of actions while engaged in the mediation of a fire, medical emergency, rescue, hazardous materials incidents, other response or training evolution, makes the supreme sacrifice.

    2. Medal of Valor – The Medal of Valor may be awarded to a member who performs a personal act in a courageous manner in the protection of life or lives while engaged in the mediation of a fire, medical emergency, rescue, hazardous materials incident or other type of response.

    3. Meritorious Service Medal – The Meritorious Service Medal may be awarded to members who distinguish themselves by performing in an outstanding manner worthy of recognition while engaged in the mediation of a fire, medical emergency, rescue, hazardous materials incident or other type of response. Such actions may include, but are not limited to, those that result in the preservation of human life or the significant conservation of property.

    4. Unit Citation – The Unit Citation is awarded to any group of two or more members for exemplary performances of duties by the group in overcoming difficulties or obstacles under unusual or adverse conditions in the completion of a task or duty.

    5. Distinguished Service Award – The Distinguished Service Award is presented to any member or group of members who may commit acts of merit or service in a non-emergency function that bring honor and distinction to the department or that increase department efficiency or effectiveness. This award shall be presented to members who continuously perform their duties with unusual thoroughness, conscientiousness, determination and initiative.

    6. Good Conduct Award – The Good Conduct Award shall be presented to any member for completing five years of service without suspension or demotion because of a disciplinary action.

    7. Founding Member Recognition Bar – The Founding Member Recognition bar shall be presented to all personnel who were members of the department on December 20, 2004 and, as such, are founding members of the department, which was created by ordinance on that date.

    B. Application & Award Procedure
    1. Any person – including but not limited to civilian and sworn personnel of the department, citizens and city employees – may make a recommendation for a medal or award. Recommendations shall be in writing, dated, signed and include sufficient information to contact the submitter. Recommendations should include a narrative describing the action specifically.

    2. An ad hoc Medals & Awards Committee shall convene no less than once annually (and more often as directed by the Chief of the Department) to review recommendations and confer awards or medals. The committee shall consist of all members holding the rank of captain and any other members as designated by the Chief of the Department. In the event that a captain’s position is vacant, the member acting in that position shall be included as a member of the Medals & Awards Committee.

    3. The committee shall meet in formal and recorded session. The committee shall be responsible for reviewing all medal and award recommendations for accuracy and merit. This process should be as thorough as possible and include review of pertinent reports, interviews of witnesses and/or any other action necessary to determine if an award or medal is warranted. Only one award or medal should be considered for each event with exceptions to be determined by the Chief of the Department.

    4. After discussion of each recommendation, a vote to approve or deny the recommendation shall be held. A simple majority will rule the vote. In the event of a tie, the recommendation shall be forwarded to the Chief of the Department for final determination. When approving or denying a recommendation, the committee shall attach written justification to the recommendation.

    5. Awards and medals must be conferred in a manner that will maintain the integrity and sanctity of the Medals & Awards Program. No award or medal will be granted for spurious or dubious conduct or due to unwarranted political or other pressures. For this reason, the Chief of the Department shall hold the right to veto or commute to a lesser award the recommendations of the Medals & Awards Committee. Veto or commutation should occur only with due cause and must be justified in writing.

    C. Award Appearance & Display
    1. Entitlement – Upon receipt of notification signed by the Chief of the Department, award recipients are vested with the award and may display ribbons or associated items. Actual medals, certificates or other items may be withheld for presentation during formal ceremonies, for press release or other purposes.

    2. Award – The recipients of the following awards are entitled to a full medal, enamel commendation bar and certificate: Medal of Honor, Medal of Valor, and Meritorious Service Medal. The recipients of the following awards are entitled to an enamel commendation bar and certificate: Distinguished Service Award, Good Conduct Award and Founding Member Recognition.

    3. Display – Medals and certificates may be displayed at home or the department at the discretion of the recipient, except that full medals shall not be worn on clothing or uniform. By accepting commendation bars, sworn members agree that they will add and maintain the appropriate commendation bar to the appropriate uniform.

    a. Commendation bars should be displayed on Class A (full dress uniform) and Class B (modified dress uniform) by using a commendation bar holder. The holder shall be centered one inch below the coat badge of the Class A uniform. On the Class B uniform, the holder shall be centered below the badge with the top edge placed along the top of the left breast pocket.

    4. Additional Awards – The receipt by an individual of the same award a second time will be designated by a small silver star upon the medal and commendation bar. The method shall be used for the second, third and fourth instances an individual receives the award. With the fifth instance, a second medal or commendation bar shall be presented.

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