1315 Salem Rd. Morganton, NC 28655 Ph: (828) 437-8488 Fax: (828) 437-8488



History of the Maltese Cross

The badge of a firefighter is the Maltese Cross, a symbol of protection and a badge of honor. Its story is hundreds of years old.

When a courageous band of crusaders known as The Knights of St. John fought the Saracens for possession of the holy land, they encountered a new weapon unknown to European warriors. It was a simple, but horrible device of war. It brought excruciating pain and agonizing death upon the brave fighters for the cross. As the crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, they were struck by glass bombs containing naphtha. When they became saturated with the highly flammable liquid, the Saracens would hurl a flaming torch into their midst. Hundreds of the knights were burned alive; others risked their lives to save their brothers-in-arms from dying painful, fiery deaths. Thus, these men became our first firefighters and the first of a long list of courageous men. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded each hero a badge of honor - a cross similar to the one firefighters wear today. Since the Knights of St. John lived for close to four centuries on a little island in the Mediterranean Sea named Malta, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross.

The Maltese Cross is our symbol of protection. It means that the firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for you just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago. The Maltese Cross is a firefighter's badge of honor, signifying that he works in courage - a ladder's rung away from death.




The Firefighter's 12 Commandments

Be sincerely interested in and dedicated to your job.

Be loyal to the department and to your coworkers.

Be diligent, learn to know and like your job.

Be aggressive in the pursuit of all education and training opportunities.

Be conscientious, recognize and accept your responsibilities.

Be courteous, considerable, enthusiastic, and cooperative.

Be especially tactful and considerate in dealing with those who have experienced a loss due to fire.

Be constantly aware that you are a representative of the fire department.

Be cautious, guard your speech, both on and off duty.

Be the type person who inspired confidence and respect.

Be able to accept criticism graciously and praise, honors, and advancement modestly.

If any would be great among you, first let him learn to serve.





































The Fire Service

We don our uniforms with pride, humbled at the opportunity to serve our fellow man. We stand in awe at the responsibility given to us, battling together as a team whose character and selfless acts of courage are unmatched. Brotherhood and camaraderie run deep within our blood with centuries of ideals which have been handed down from our forefathers. We triumph in victory and cry together in despair, always standing together and becoming stronger as we follow these traditions and develop new ones for future generations. Our legacy is..."Love the Job"









When I am called to duty, God
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age.

Let me embrace a little child
before it is too late,
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert
and hear the weakest shout,
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.

I want to fill my calling
to give the best in me,
to guard my friend and neighbor
and protect their property.

And, if, according to your will,
I have to lose my life,
please bless with your protecting hand,
my family and my wife.
























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This page is dedicated to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to others; and to all firefighters, past, present and future.