The SEMSAR shoulder patch is rich in meaning and symbolism. The patch incorporates all of the ideals and beliefs of our organization, while providing a recognizable crest by which members may be identified. The various aspects of the patch are translated as follows:
The color red is symbolic of the Blood of Christ, shed for the redemption of sinful man. It is also symbolic of courage, especially in the face of personal danger, as well as symbolic of sacrifice. In biblical times, the maroon or scarlet color was derived form the crushed bodies of a worm called the tolaath. The color was used in the robes of kings and the cloaks of warriors. This speaks of our desire to be broken and spilled out in service to our fellow man, our respect for authority, and desire to be warriors against plague, pestilence, and the ills of mankind.
The color Blue-Gray is symbolic of our organizational neutrality to politics, rendering our services as unto God, without regard for race, sex, age, social status, or respective personal ethics and/or national affiliations.
The color white is symbolic of purity of purpose, as well as the joy found in serving others.
The color black is symbolic of death, sickness, and mourning. We actively seek to defeat death and sickness, warring with the weapons Christ left for His people. We mourn those we cannot save and those who are lost and never found.
The color silver is symbolic of faith as well as redemption.
The color gold is symbolic of honor and loyalty. It is also representative of the Glory of God and the vibrancy of life.
The Stylized Maltese cross represents the Cross of Christ, to which all of our infirmities, diseases and sins were nailed. The Maltese aspect of the cross was originally the badge of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. These knights were known as the Hospitalers, and represent one of the first religious orders dedicated to providing aid to the sick and injured. The Knights chose the shape of the cross to represent the spiritual qualities blessed by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount. And so the four arms of the cross stand four the four Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and fortitude. The eight points for the eight Beatitudes, and the color white for the purity of the soul.
The eight-pointed cross became known as the Maltese cross after the Knights settled on the island of Malta from 1520-1798.
The Maltese Cross is the modern day symbol of the firefighting profession, as well as the symbol for the British ambulance service, St. John Ambulance. For a St. John Ambulance member, the cross symbolizes the qualities necessary to be a good First Aider: observation, tact, resource, dexterity, explicitness, discrimination, perseverance and sympathy.
The Compass in the center of the cross represents Christ as our guide and navigator, as well as the art of search and rescue to which we are dedicated. The circle that the compass is on represents the completeness of Christ as Alpha and Omega, as well as unity of purpose and continuity of service.
The Star of Life represents the profession of the Emergency Medical Technician. The coiled serpent is missing from this star to center on Christ as the true Star of Life. While the coiled serpent on the staff is also representative of Christ, this meaning is not generally known by the public at large, having its origins in the Old testament.
The rope around the Star of Life represents Christ as our lifeline, as well as the lifeline we toss to others, whether spiritual or physical in nature.
The spearhead is symbolic of the spear of Longinus, which was thrust into the side of Christ at His death on the cross. From the wound, blood and water flowed, symbolic of the birth of the Church, the first true service organization. It is also symbolic of tactical and operational efficiency.
The word Fides is Latin for Faith, Animus is Latin for Courage, and Decus is Latin for Honor.
Our Organizational Scripture
6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.
9 Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
11 And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.