The recognition of service and bravery by the award of medal for members of the Fire Service can be traced back to the latter part of the 1800s. It was during this period that fire brigades became more organised and grew in number around the United Kingdom.
As these many and various brigades came of age, various tokens and medals began to appear to recognise lengths of service and deeds of bravery. Additionally, special medals were struck to recognise attendance at particular fires that were seen to be of spectacular proportion.
Those brigades who could not afford or justify having their own individual medals produced would turn to the various associations that were being formed. These associations produced long service medals, normally for 10 years (bronze) and 20 years (silver) with ribbon bars that could be added for additional years service. Bravery medals were also produced.