Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Emergency Medical Technician, EMT Badge, Sun Badge Company, 7 Point Star, circa 1970's

Today we'll be taking a look at a new addition to the badge collection.  This badge is a vintage, custom made, Emergency Medical Technician badge from the Sun Badge Company of California.

This badge came from a collectors estate sale, and unfortunately, the detailed history of this badge was lost with its last owner.  There are a few clues that the badge holds for us though.

This badge was custom made by the Sun Badge Company of Ontario, California.  The Sun Badge Company started making badges in 1957 and is still custom making badges today.  They are still considered one of the top badge makers in the business.

This Emergency Medical Technician badge is quite unique on several fronts.  First, it is a custom made badge, not a "stock generic" badge.  Second, it is a classic Law Enforcement, 7 Point Star design.  Stars are traditionally used for law enforcement, not medical or fire service. This leads me to believe that this badge was either a private purchase badge, or was an early EMT badge for some department.

We can narrow the age of this badge down by looking at a couple of details.  First is the "Star of Life" center  piece.  The Star of Life was adopted in 1973 when the early EMT programs were essentially coordinated and organized nationally.   Another interesting aspect of this center piece, is the fact that it is actually stamped in the badge metal.  Most badges made today use a "glued on" center piece".  This EMT badge is definitely "old school construction" !

The catch on the back of this badge is a small burgess catch, which was first patented in 1910, but was commonly used on badges into the 1960's.  The catch, combined with the "Star of Life" center, leads me to believe that the badge is a mid 1970's vintage.

I completed the "new",  Emergency Medical Technician 1A program in California, back in the early 1980's, when I was a new firefighter with the Butte County Fire Department in Chico, California.  For now, I'll consider this badge my "Commemorative EMT Badge"  in recognition of that early career milestone!

In my Butte County FD Turn Outs, circa 1984.

Here are the photos of this beautiful badge.

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