Florian of Lorch is the Roman commander who achieved sainthood by saving a town from fiery doom with the use of a single bucket of water. Known as the patron saint of fire fighters, this coin captures the connection between the modern fire fighter and the ancient one in stunning detail, and will stir todayís fire fighting professionals when carried or displayed.
Florianís legend dates back to the third century. While commanding some of Romeís most elite centurions, he turned their cause into rescue rather than pillage and torture. Organizing his soldiers into a force specializing in fighting fires, he would extinguish blazes set by those determined to punish Christians for their beliefs by burning their villages to the ground. According to some, Florian martyred himself when he refused to make Roman religious sacrifices; others say he would not round up and torture adherents of the young and radical Christian religion.
Commemorating the skill and conviction of todayís professional fire fighters who brave the perils of flame and smoke, the obverse depicts St. Florian and a 21st century IAFF fire fighter working together symbolically to save lives threatened by an inferno. The reverse features the IAFF symbol Ė derived from St. Florianís cross. The IAFF is 300,000 members strong, and its professional fire fighters and EMTs protect 85% of the nationís population.
Minted in the USA from special deep-relief coining dies; struck from solid bronze, and hand-finished with an antique patina for exceptional quality and detail; the St. Florian IAFF heritage challenge coin pays tribute to the courageous professional fire fighters of today who walk into hell to save us on Earth.