Custom Badge: North Carolina’s Arlington Fire & Rescue

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North Carolina’s Arlington Community Volunteer Fire Department (ACVFD) was established in 1958 by founding members Kenneth Brown, Sherman Morrison, and Pat Patterson. It remained sustainable through the generous donations of the district’s residents and businesses, until 1974 when a special election was held to pass a Fire Protection District. From that point on, the ACVFD became a tax-supported organization. In 1991, it began offering rescue services in addition to fire protection, and the department officially changed its name to Arlington Fire & Rescue Inc. In 1993, Deputy Chief Keith Vestal was approached by his commanding officer to design a patch for the department’s uniform. The finished product was met with a positive response, and having successfully completed that task, it instilled confidence in the other members of the organization to have him design the new badge that they desired to be custom-made and unique. Vestal created its initial look, and the final outcome evolved with input from his comrades at Arlington Fire & Rescue and Smith & Warren’s design team. While at a conference, he noticed an emblem of a helmet on the back of an attendee’s t-shirt, which inspired him to begin sketching a design with two helmets facing each other and the number 16 (one digit on the front of each helmet) to represent their fire station. A Maltese cross was added between the two helmets as a symbol of the department’s fire service with the members’ ranks depicted below in a banner. In the background, he envisioned flames, which was something that he had never seen before on a badge. The final pieces to the puzzle were the flags of North Carolina and the United States of America proudly displayed in the center of the badge. Smith & Warren and Arlington Fire & Rescue are proud to share with you the results of our collaborative effort.

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