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Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District

In 1972 the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection Association was founded by a group of citizens that determined the need for rural fire protection. In April of 1996, Waynesville Rural changed from an association to a district, which includes the City of Waynesville and surrounding areas. Waynesville Rural also provides mutual aid for many of the surrounding areas.

The Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District continues to grow; as of 2011 we have 1 Fire Chief, 25 volunteer firefighters, 12 full time firefighters, 2 part time firefighters, and an administrative assistant. We provide protection for 12,000 people, 160 square miles, and operate out of 3 stations, with 2 new stations in the planning stage.


The Cross of Saint Florian

The cross of Saint Florian, patron saint of firefighters, is often confused with the Maltese cross (for example, the New York City Fire Department so calls it); although it may have eight or more points, it also has large curved arcs between the points. The Philadelphia Fire Department, among others, incorporates the Florian cross into their insignia, as does the International Association of Fire Fighters.

Florian lived in the time of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian, and was commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing firefighting brigades.

Firefighting is believed to have originated during the Roman invasion of Britain in AD43. These organised teams would use buckets and syringes to douse a fire.

Firefighting Dalmations

Particularly in the United States, the use of Dalmatians as carriage dogs was transferred to horse-drawn fire engines, although it is unclear why this link was not made in other countries. Today the Dalmatian serves as a firehouse mascot but, back in the days of horse-drawn fire carts, they provided a valuable service. The horses have long since gone, but the Dalmatians, by tradition, have stayed. As a result, in the United States, Dalmatians are commonly known as firehouse dogs.


Dalmatians are still chosen by many firefighters as pets, in honor of their heroism in the past. The Dalmatian is also the mascot of the Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity. In the past, Pi Kappa Alpha has been known as the firefighters fraternity, and this is why they both share the dalmatian as a mascot.


The Star of Life

Originally, many ambulances used an Omaha orange cross on a square background of reflectorized white to designate them as emergency units. This logo was used before national standards for Emergency Medical Personnel or ambulances were established. Tthe Star of Life was created after the American National Red Cross complained in 1973 that the orange cross too closely resembled their logo, the red cross on a white background, its use restricted by the Geneva Conventions.

The newly designed cross was adapted from the Medical Identification Symbol of the American Medical Association, which was patented by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 1967. The newly designed logo was trademarked on February 1, 1977 with the Commissioner of Patents and Trade-marks in the name of the National Highway Traffic Safety and Administration. The logo was "given" to the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) for use as the emergency medical technicians (EMT) logo after the trademark expired in 1997.


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