The Story Behind The Maltese Cross

When a courageous band of crusaders, the Knights of St. John, fought the Saracens for possession of the Holy Lands, they were faced with a new device of war — fire.

As the crusaders advanced on Jerusalem, the Saracens pelted them with glass bombs full of naphtha and then threw down flaming torches.  Hundreds of knights were burned alive while others risked their lives to save their kinsmen from painful fiery deaths.  Thus these became the first firefighters.  Their heroic efforts were recognized by fellow crusaders who awarded them with a badge of honour similar to the cross firefighters wear today.

Since the Knights of St. John lived nearly four centuries on the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, the cross came to be known as the Maltese Cross.  The firefighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for others, just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago.

Helping to rebuild a collection

Firefighters battle a fully engulfed fire hall in Mount Albert, Ontario.

Fisher’s is asking our firefighting brethren to help our guys at East Gwillimbury Fire Rescue rebuild their wall of shoulder flashes that were lost when fire claimed their Mount Albert fire hall. We’ve promised to collect them on their behalf. If you have some shoulder flashes that your department could donate please send them to Fisher’s Regalia, 1 King St., Unit 8, Barrie, Ontario, Canada, L4N6B5. Thank you very much.

Weekly Question: How well designed is our social media pages?



Fisher’s Regalia has always been looking into the best and most efficient ways to reach our customers. We worked hard on all of our social media outlets. This was all in an effort to better reach you, the customer. Question is, did we get to you? We need your feedback to be sure our presence in the online world has really made a impact. So tell us, How well designed is our social media pages?


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If you haven’t seen our pages yet, or need to double take on them. Check them out at the links below!





Weekly Question: What do you want to see us upload to YouTube?

This question is raised over and over, the fact is, we want to upload exactly what you want to see. We already uploaded our informational videos regarding how to use different products but maybe you already knew that. Maybe you want to see something more exciting on our channel? Maybe you want to learn something that we know behind the scenes?

We are willing to go that extra mile for interest sake. Do you want to see Mark, Yvonne , or Guy dance around in the office? I can try to make that happen! Do you want to see an informative interview with one of our suppliers? We could make that happen! You want to see how we prepare certain product for you or learn of our upcoming secret projects here at Fishers? We can certainly give you a preview!

We’re all like a big family here at Fisher’s, and some of us are even related.  And as a family we want you to join us and participate in the fun.

So please, comment below or on our Facebook wall and we just might make your idea happen!

Weekly Question: What is that one thing your department is scrambling to get at the last minute?

We all have that one thing don’t we?  During the time I have been working here at Fisher’s I would have to say the number one thing that departments rush order at the last minute is usually ___________. Well it wouldn’t be fun if we just came out with it.  We want your opinion on what you think is the most requested rush order product here at Fisher’s.  Revisit the blog at the end of February for the poll results and the actual product identified as the most popular rush order here at Fisher’s.  Enter your guess below:


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Introducing New Tactical Gloves!



New to Fisher’s! 2nd Skinz tactical gloves by Franklin.

Franklin’s new UNIFORCE 2nd- SKINZ line of gloves delivers unprecedented fit, feel, and performance through a combination of patent pending construction and sophisticated ultra-high performance materials. So perfect are these gloves that they fit, feel, and perform like a “second skin” – only better! By utilizing highly sophisticated, engineered materials such as DYNEEMA and Parados leather, 2ND- SKINZ tactical gloves provide the highest degree of protection against cuts and abrasions while remaining incredibly light. flexible, and form fitting. If that wasn’t enough, 2ND-SKINZ also provide superior heat and moisture dispersion and are 100% washable.

These gloves have a variety of features depending on the feature gloves you choose. For example, the glove you see here is the Cut and Chemical Resistant style.


For more details on the products or where you can get a hold of a set go to

Weekly Question: What are you looking forward to most at the Lambton County Mutual Aid trade show?

As most of you may know, the Lambton County Mutual Aid trade show is coming up on January 28, 2012. Many things to look forward to of course, and we will be coming up to share the same excitement. Of course, every trade show has its awesome events, contests, new faces, old faces, and best of all – booths!.


Question is, what are you looking forward too this upcoming trade show? Anything you MUST see?

Weekly Question: What if “Cops” the television show came to your department?

The average citizen probably doesn’t really understand what their local police department deals with on a daily basis.  But a show like Cops can be a double edge sword.  On one hand the public can be witness to the abuses that police officers put up with on a daily basis, on the other hand those who may already have a pre-conceived bias against law enforcement personnel can attempt to find ammunition (factual or perceived) from the television program.

The reality is, the only way a show like that could be broadcasted in your area is if your local TV station thinks the idea is great one and your local police department agrees to participate.

So the question today is, would you want this show to be broadcast in your city? Would you feel comfortable with cameras following you around day by day for viewer’s entertainment? I would like to hear your opinion.

Weekly Question: What do you want to see introduced at Fisher’s?

We here at Fisher’s Regalia are always striving to produce the best products that are practical for use by emergency service departments across Canada and around the world. We’re not looking to tell you what you need and add that item to our product line, rather we would love to hear from you when you think of a useful product or service or something that you may have seen but have not been able to find.

We dressed you up in a uniform, set you up with all your accessories and regalia, and now we want to find the next best thing. So today I ask you, what would you like to see on our shelves here at Fisher’s? What have you been looking for that you would love to see us introduce to our product line?

Comment below with your idea and you might just see that happen!

Fire Service Rank Insignia – Collar Dogs

Welcome to 2012, now let’s get you looking sharp!

Today we’re going to have a quick look at fire service rank insignia.

First, let us mention the various names they are known by. We at Fisher’s Regalia most often refer to them as Collar Dogs however we get requests or orders placed with the following names as well: Pips, Collar Rank Insignia, Lapel Pins, Lapel Insignia, Collar Trumpets or Horns and even “the little gold things for my collar.”

However they are referred to for the fire service dress uniform, there are two places where a Collar Dog might be worn. First is on the military style dress shirt collar and the second is on the dress uniform tunic lapel.

The purpose for Collar Dogs is in line will all uniform regalia in that they let others know the rank of the individual wearing them. Almost all officers for instance will wear gold rank insignia starting with the Lieutenant in a gold single trumpet rank insignia all the way up to the chief who would be sporting a gold 5 trumpet collar pin. Let’s look at each rank and style in more detail, starting with the firefighter rank and then up the ladder to the man with all the bling.

For images and more detailed descriptions of our collar dogs, please visit our Rank Insignia page on our main website.

Firefighter Collar Dogs:

Here’s an image of the small shirt rank insignia for the firefighter. It is roughly the size of a dime and is the exact design of the larger version which is worn on the tunic lapels. The larger pin is roughly the size of a quarter.


  • Affectionately referred to as the “firefighter scramble” or the “hook and ladder” pin, this collar dog is meant for all volunteer and career firefighters. Most commonly they are worn in a silver finish, however some departments prefer to have even their firefighters wear gold regalia. The Fisher’s Regalia store has them available in both finishes.
  • Starting out, most firefighters don’t have a full dress uniform which makes complete sense as many of them are volunteers or they don’t have too much occasion to wear them anyway. Station wear is more commonly worn however, and many stations require their firefighters to wear cargo pants and a military dress shirt complete with the appropriate regalia. The Collar Dogs that are available for firefighters for the dress shirts come in only the one style. It is a small round pin with the firefighter scramble pattern on it and as mentioned it is available in either the gold or silver.


Lieutenant Collar Dogs:

Here’s a look at the shirt rank insignia for the lieutenant. The small version is roughly the size of a dime and is the exact design of the larger version which is worn on the tunic lapels and is roughly the size of a quarter. For a look at the cut-out style, visit it on the rank and long service insignia here.

  • The lieutenant pins reintroduce another terminology discussion. Lieutenants are typically represented by one trumpet… or horn…. or bugle. We’ve heard it all, and don’t worry we know what you mean.
  • Most commonly, lieutenant collar dogs are worn in a gold finish, however some departments are so large that junior lieutenants will wear them in silver and more senior lieutenants will wear them in gold. Some departments will even require that a single trumpet rank insignia be worn by their captains.
  • They come in three different styles. Two are for the dress shirt which are a small disk with a single vertical trumpet and the other is a larger cut-out trumpet. The third style is a larger disk with a single vertical trumpet which is worn on the uniform lapel.


Captain Collar Dogs:

Here’s a look at the two-crossed trumpet rank insignia for the Captain in gold. It is by far the most popular style we distribute across Canada.


  • The captain collar rank insignia are most commonly worn with the two-crossed trumpet style, however some departments use a two-straight vertical trumpet version. They are most often worn in gold, however as mentioned before, some larger departments reserve the gold for more senior captains or they use the silver option for acting captains.
  • They are found in the same three sizes as the lieutenant pins. In both two-straight and two-crossed, they come in a small round disk, a cut-out as well as a larger disk.


District Chief or Platoon Chief Collar Dogs:

This image displayed here is the tunic version of the three trumpet rank insignia for the platoon or district chief. Actually, it is sometimes worn by an acting deputy chief.


  • Here is where we really start getting flashy. These collar dogs have three trumpets and they are only available in gold. They still come in the three versions. The small pin, the cut-out and the larger tunic pin.


Deputy Chief Collar Dogs:

This image of the four-crossed trumpet collar dog is worn on the dress shirt. It’s getting hard to think of anything new to say about rank insignia, so I’ll just stick with the obvious. The deputy chief collar dog starts to make it difficult to tell just how many trumpets there are.

  • This rank of insignia is available only in gold, however it comes in all three styles. The small and large pins as well as the cut-out you see pictured above.


Fire Chief Collar Dogs:

The chief who is in many more media appearances and meetings has much more need for a full dress uniform and ranking insignia that lets the public and other emergency service personnel know that’s he or she is the person in charge of the situation.

  • Again, this pin is available only in gold and in the three styles as mentioned in the deputy chief description.
  • Here’s a tip on wearing this pin. As there are so many trumpets, it might be hard to tell which way is up. You’ll notice in the image that there is a trumpet that sits above the others. This is the trumpet you’d use to align the rank insignia on the uniform tunic or dress shirt. Align the narrow end of the trumpet facing up and so that the trumpet is vertical as pictured above.


No that we’ve given you all of the pertinent information necessary on rank insignia, here’s ne last tip for its application.

  • Use an awl, or other more sturdy pin to make your initial hole in the collar. Some people find that the plastic insert which prevents the collars from curling makes it hard to push the pins through. To avoid the pins from breaking when you’re installing them to the shirt, the pre-poke with an awl or other pin should help.


Thanks for reading and we’ll check in with other related info soon.