Unless you know a firefighter personally, you may not be familiar with firefighter challenge coins. These unique medallions serve as unspoken expressions for courage, honor and selflessness exhibited by firefighters during the course of duty. They are awarded for multi-faceted reasons from heroic actions to posthumous keepsakes for surviving family members.
To receive a coin that was commissioned for a specific firefighter's benefit, celebrates the individual and fellow co-workers. Let's look at several occasions, which merit this accolade.
The Posthumous Firefighters Challenge Coin
The posthumous challenge coin is custom created in tribute of the deceased firefighter. Each custom-crafted coin is as unique as was the individual. Working with text, drawings and/or a picture of the firefighter, the designer processes a completed coin from original ideas. Text usually consists of names, dates and perhaps the fireman's unit number. The chosen text is engraved using a laser process.
The photograph goes through offset printing and is finished out with an epoxy dome to preserve the image. Although we generally think of coins as round, there are a myriad of unusual shapes to select from.
Challenge coins distributed during the firefighter's memorial service may be presented in black velvet, either a box or bag. This provides a discreet and classy aura to the presentation, during a solemn moment in time. The velvet container also safeguards the luster and life of the medallion.
The tangible tribute to the fallen firefighter is often showcased at his/her fire station to preserve their memory and incite a team-working persona in fellow firefighters.
Ceremonial Firefighter Challenge Coins
Firefighters put their lives on the line on a daily basis. It is not unusual for an individual or an entire unit to go beyond their calling and demonstrate extraordinary valor.
These brave men and women should and sometimes are honored at a special ceremony. The challenge coin is symbolic of heroic action, making it the ideal award for outstanding bravery in the line of duty.
First Responder Reward
In times of disaster, firefighters are deemed first responders on the scene. During the drastic days following September 11, 1011 or 911, firefighters worked tirelessly around the clock in effort to save lives and locate the deceased.
In ordinary times when emergencies arise, firefighters are deemed first responders. They assess the situation and are often responsible for keeping people alive, prior to other responder's arrival on the scene.