The AFFA Seal was created and adopted in 2009 with the intent to provide our members with an image that embodies our history, values, and committment to service. Each image, symbol, color, and phrase has significant meaning and purpose that is unique to the Arcadia Firefighters Association. The values and attributes embedded in our seal are held by each member and serves as a reminder of the expectations we share as a unified body to live out our sworn oath to protect and serve.
The Maltese Cross: The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection and a badge of honor. It has been adopted by the fire service as an image that represents a firefighter's willingness to lay down his life for another.
The blue, larger, outer Maltese Cross represents the fire service as a whole. Historically, the four arms of the Maltese Cross stand for the four Cardinal Virtues; prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. The eight points of the Maltese Cross is widely believed to have originated from the Beattitudes found in the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew:
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2. Blessed are those who mourn; for they shall be comforted.
3. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be satisfied.
5. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
6. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
7. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
8. Blessed are those who suffer persecution for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The inner, red Maltese Cross represents the Arcadia Firefighters Association which lies within the fire service. Each point of our Maltese Cross represents the values that we strive to work and live by.
7. Dexterity of Service
8. Protection of the Weak
Our Motto: The words Vires and Decus appear on the seal. They represent the AFFA's motto in Latin; translated Strength & Honor
The Badge: The badge mimics the one we wear on our uniforms daily. It reminds us of the oath we all swore to uphold. It is in the shape of a shield which is symbolic of our protection of life, property, and environment.
Crossed Axes: The crossed axes symbolize the guarding of our honor. The axe is one of the oldest and most versatile tool a firefighter has.
Pumper: The AFFA and the Arcadia Fire Department jointly created Arcadia's centennial badge. This badge now serves as our Class A uniform badge. The pumper sits atop our Class A badge as well as the badge in our seal.
Firefighter Scramble: On the bottom of the badge is a traditional firefighter scramble. It is a collection of tools and equipment that represent the many fireground functions of a firefighter. The bugle represents leadership. The helmet represents safety. When combined the scramble represents readiness.
Gold Leafing: The traditional fire engine decor, gold leafing has long been a staple on fire service apparatus. Our engines today continue in that tradition. It is what connects our modern fire fighting apparatus to those of a begone era. Much in the same manner, the gold leaf on the seal symbolizes and pays respect to the traditions of the AFFA and our past members who have made us who we are today.
The Colors: Red, White, and Blue symbolizes our commitment to answering the call of duty. The Fire Department is a para-military organization who has extreme respect and admiration for our men and women in uniform. While our military brothers and sisters are protecting us overseas, we are protecting their families here at home. We are privileged to serve, we will answer the call.
The image was rendered by local artist Jessica Lee from Airdog Atelier www.airdogatelier.com
For further history on the Maltese Cross visit
http://www.publicsafety.net/maltese.htm and http://www.orderstjohn.org/osj/cross.htm and http://www.publicsafety.net/st_florian.htm