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FDNY Engine company 306
 
40-18  214th Place
 
Bayside, NY  11361

Firemans Prayer

When I am called to duty, God...
Where ever flames may rage...
Give me the strength to save some life...
Whatever be its age...
Help me embrace a little child...
Before it is to 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 and...
To give the best in me...
To guard my every neighbor and protect his property...
And if according to your will...
I have to give my life...
Please bless with your protecting hand...
MY CHILDREN AND MY WIFE.

--Author Unknown

 

The Story of the Maltese Cross

The badge of a Firefighter is the Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross is a symbol of protection, a badge of honor, and 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 were faced with a new weapon not known to European fighters. It was a simple but horrible device of war. The Saracens weapon was fire.

As the crusaders advanced on the walls of the city, they were bombarded with glass bombs containing naphtha. When they were saturated with the liquid, the Saracens threw flaming torches into the crusaders. Hundreds of knights were burned alive while others risked their lives in an effort to save their kinsmen from painful fiery deaths. Thus these men became the first Firemen, and the first of a long line of Firefighters. Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded each other with a badge of honor similar to the cross firefighters wear today.

Since the Knights of St. John lived for close to four centuries on the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross. The Maltese Cross is your symbol of protection. It means that the Firefighter that 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 rung away from death.