First awarded in 1971, "The Fire Services Long Service Medal" is an expression of public appreciation for the dedication and hard work of members of the Ontario Fire Services. It is officially recognized by the Province and is included in the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. Members of full-time and volunteer fire departments can qualify for the medal.
The medal is worn on the left breast subordinate to Canadian or British decorations. Suspended from a red, white and green ribbon, the circular medal bears on the obverse the Maltese cross, with the coat of arms of Ontario superimposed and the inscription 'Fire Services Ontario'. The inscription 'For Long Service the Fire Protection and Prevention Act' appears on the reverse.
Besides the medal, recipients are also presented with a citation, which includes their name and the signature of the Fire Marshal of Ontario.
The Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal
In mid-1985, the Government of Canada accepted the proposal for the creation of a service medal for all full-time and volunteer members of Canada's Fire Service. Regulations paralleling those of other Exemplary Service Medals were drafted and a proposed design for the medal was submitted to representatives of the Fire Service. Once approved, the regulations and design were forwarded to the Sovereign with Cabinet's recommendations.
Her Majesty The Queen signed Letters Patent creating the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal on August 29, 1985.
The design of the Medal incorporates crossed axes, a hydrant, and a stylized Maltese Cross, an internationally recognized symbol of the fire prevention community. Both are superimposed on a maple leaf, the standard background symbol of Canadian honours. The red of the ribbon represents fire; the gold, common to all Exemplary Service Medals, represents the quality of the service honoured.
Exemplary medals are engraved with the recipient's first initial and name and a citation is prepared. Both the medals and citations are mailed directly to the Fire Chief and are not presented at investitures hosted by the OFM.
Applying for provincial and exemplary medals
Provincial fire service medals, service bars and administrative assistants recognition applications forms are available online. These forms can be faxed to Heather Wadden at 416 325 3162 once completed and signed.
Federal exemplary forms are now available for downloading at http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=70 .
The method of processing the applications has not changed. Please forward all completed forms to the Awards Coordinated at 5775 Yonge Street, 7th Floor, Toronto, Ontario M2M 4J1
Important information about deadlines for applications and delivery of medals
Both provincial and exemplary medals take approximately 8-12 weeks for processing. If you require medals for a specific presentation date, to ensure that your medals are received in time, please discuss your requirements with Heather Wadden at least 3 months in advance.
Provincial medals are presented at regional investitures. Recipients who are unable to attend or that are expecting service bars will receive their medals and service bars from their Fire Chief. Medals and service bars are sent to the attention of the Fire Chief after an investiture.
Districts that do not have enough applicants to hold a ceremony (minimum 25 recipients) are invited to attend a ceremony in a bordering district.
*Please note dates and locations are subject to change depending on attendance and facility availability. Please contact Heather Wadden at 416-325-3106 to confirm dates and locations in your region.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Federal Exemplary Service Medal:
Q: I am a Fire Chief and I am eligible for my medal/service bar; who can sign my application?
A: The mayor, reeve, clerk or chief administrative officer (CAO) of your municipality can only sign this application; a deputy chief cannot sign for the chief. A chief cannot sign his or her own application.
Q: How long does it take to process these applications?
A: After the chancellery in Ottawa receives the application, it takes approximately 8-10 weeks to be sent back to the requesting chief.
Q: Where do I get the forms and can they be faxed or emailed?
A: The forms are only available from the OFM awards coordinator; they cannot be faxed or emailed. Call the awards coordinator at 416 325 3106 or email Heather.Wadden@ontario.ca and provide your name and mailing address and they will be sent by regular mail.
Q: Who do I mail the applications to?
A: Please send all applications to the awards coordinator, Office of the Fire Marshal, 7th Floor, 5775 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M2M 4J1; DO NOT SEND THEM DIRECTLY TO THE CHANCELLERY IN OTTAWA; THIS WILL DELAY THE APPLICATIONS FROM BEING PROCESSED.
Q: My applicant is in fire prevention/education/dispatch/training: Do they qualify for the Exemplary Medal?
A: At this time, fire services positions other than high-risk (e.g. suppression) may not be eligible for the medal. The chief must send in a job description for the prevention/education/dispatch/training staff at the time the medal is being applied for and the awards committee will decide if the person is eligible. If applicable to the applicant, the fire chief should also include time spent as a fire fighter.
Q: Does the OFM present the Federal Exemplary medals/bars at long service medal investiture ceremonies?
A: No, it is up to your municipality/department to award them.
Q: Does Canadian Forces' service count towards the Exemplary medal?
A: In most cases, the answer is no. Individuals receiving their Certificate of Declaration medal will have service deducted from their years of service (in most cases 12 years)
A: Does fire service in other countries count towards the Exemplary medal?
A: Please call the awards coordinator to discuss the your situation.
Long Service Medal FAQs
Q: What happens to my applications once I send them in to be processed?
A: The awards coordinator will file them by municipality to be prepared for the long service medal investiture in that area (subject to scheduling). Due to the volume of the applications received, we are unable to send notification to fire departments that these applications have been received.
Q: Are the forms available on-line?
A: Yes, please check under the heading: Applying for provincial and exemplary medals Once the forms are completed and signed, please fax them to the awards coordinator at 416 325 3162. There are forms for Long Service (25 year medal), Service Bars (30, 35, 40, 45) and Fire Services' Administrative Assistant Award (20 years).
Q: Who are invited to attend long service medal investitures?
A: Fire Service/Fire Services Admin. personnel (and one guest over 16 years of age) are invited to attend and be awarded the 25-year medal. If a firefighter has previously received their medal and were not able to attend the investiture at the time of their 25-year anniversary, then they are able to attend an investiture at another time (and in another area, if preferred). Please inform the awards coordinator of your preference. Service bars are not presented at investitures unless authorized by the awards committee. The Fire Chief, Deputy Fire Chief and one guest each are invited as well. We also encourage the Fire Chief to invite a representative from the municipality.
Q: Is fire service from other countries and Canadian armed forces counted towards the medal?
A: The fire service time must be performed in Ontario. Please call the awards coordinator and discuss your situation. Service from other jurisdictions may be deducted.