Some FAQ's

What are the benefits to me in joining the Worshipful Company of Firefighters ?

There are two levels of membership – Freeman and Liveryman. Freemen are expected to progress to becoming Liverymen after a short period. It should particularly be mentioned that, whilst a number of ancient Companies still use the word “mistery”, Livery Companies are in no respect secret societies. For a full list of benefits please Read More ...

What is the significance of the Salamander to the Worshipful Company of Firefighters ?

Salamander as shown on our crest
Salamander as shown on our crest

The salamander is an amphibian of the order Urodela. As with many real creatures, pre-modern authors often ascribed fantastic qualities to it, and in recent times some have come to identify a legendary salamander as a distinct concept from the real organism. This idea is most highly developed in the occult. Where the two concepts can be distinguished, the legendary salamander is most often depicted much like a typical salamander in shape, with a lizard-like form, but it is usually ascribed an affinity with fire.

Numerous legends have developed around the salamander over the centuries, many related to fire. This connection likely originates from the tendency of many salamanders to dwell inside rotting logs. When placed into a fire, the salamander would attempt to escape from the log, lending to the belief that salamanders were created from flames — a belief that gave the creature its name.

Also the Salamander is a sign of the firefighter because it is said to be able to be in a fire and not burn. The Salamander in the Ray Bradbury dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 is the fire truck, and is in the little patch they wear on their sleeve.

View the Salamander, the Newsletter of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters.

Is the company in any way related to the "Freemasons" ?

The Worshipful Company of Firefighters has no affiliation to the Freemasons.

There has been many articles written on this subject. However the following bullet points may assist you in reseaching the subject and in reaching your own opinion.

It is suggested the the Freemasons were in being at the time of the Knights Templar and maybe before that time as well.

The Worshipful Company of Masons acknowledge that the Freemasons as we know it today may have originated from them and other related guilds and where the guilds they formed were classed as "operative" i.e. the members were stone masons there was a section that appeared that were not and this group was called “speculative”.
View the Worshipful Company of Masons website for more information.

A number of reasons have been put forward as to why the secrecy of these groups were initiated and some revolve around work practices of the time.

The "Twelve Great Livery Companies of London" did not include the Masons.

In the majority of papers written on the subject by the Freemasons they do not associate themselves with the Livery Companies.

For a tour of the London Livery Company origins please visit the following site.

Who is St Florian

St Florian Patron Saint of Firefighters

Florian lived in the time of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian, and was commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing firefighting brigades.

The Roman regime sought to eradicate Christianity, and sent Aquilinus to persecute Christians. When Aquilinus ordered Florian to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods in accordance with Roman religion, he refused, and cheerfully accepted the beatings of the soldiers, who used clubs, spikes and fire to torture him. He was executed by drowning in the Enns River with a stone tied around his neck.

Later a woman named Valeria had a vision in which she saw him; Florian, in this vision, declared his intent to be buried in a more appropriate location.

Veneration

Saint Florian was very widely venerated in Central Europe. The Austrian town of Sankt Florian is named after him. According to legend, his body was interred at St. Florian's Priory, around which the town grew up.

Pope Lucius III, in 1184, is reported to have given some of the saint's relics to Casimir II of Poland and to the Bishop of Kraków. Kraków thus claims some of his relics.
A statue of Florian by Josef Josephu was unveiled in Vienna in 1935. It stood at the main firehouse of Vienna, in the city's main square, Am Hof. After the firehouse was bombed in 1945 during World War II the statue was moved to the Fire Brigade Museum (Wiener Feuerwehrmuseum).

Seeking the sponsorship of a helpful saint was a part of the name giving practice in Catholic areas. It was important to select a saint that might protect them against their main fears; for example, animal plague(s) and fire. In the southern, Catholic parts of the German Empire (mainly present Bavaria and Austria), peasants regularly have used the name, Florian, as one of the given names for at least one of their male children: to secure the saints patronage against fire. Hence the given name is still widespread in these areas. In Austria, fire services use Florian in radio communications as universal call sign for fire stations.

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