There are numerous situations for which you will want to recognize your team for the hard work they do, putting their lives on the line to help others. Since it is not feasible to give firefighter awards and plaques every single day, departments should think carefully about which occasions go above and beyond and deserve honoring a member of the team via custom awards and trophies for firefighters and police.
Landmark Years of Service
One of the most obvious times to honour a team member with firefighter or police recognition awards is when they reach a milestone in their years of service. Perhaps you will give a smaller award, such as a commemorative engraved coin, for five or 10 years on the force. Once they reach 15 or 20 years, consider giving a medal or plaque. For those with a long career on the force, you should consider something truly special at 30, 40, and 50 years of service – perhaps even a Michael Garman Sculpture Award.
Another occasion that deserves a special honour like police recognition awards is achieving a rank or promotion. When, for example, your team gets a new chief, consider honouring this occasion with a commemorative axe or acrylic award. Even a simple plaque can show your appreciation for the hard work the new chief put in to reach their current rank.
As with landmark years of service, you should strongly consider custom awards and trophies for firefighters and police at retirement. This is the time to truly honour the people who dedicated their working years to protecting and serving the community. Opt for a statue, plaque, axe, or trumpet with customization to show the years of service and final rank of the retiring member of your team. This is also the perfect time to honour the retiring policeman or firefighter with an award watch. In this way, they will be able to always keep a symbol of their years of service with them.
All firefighters, policemen, and EMS workers engage in heroic actions on a daily basis, but every once in a while, they take truly exceptional action. Following a particularly heroic rescue or responding to an unusual or out-of-control situation, such as a disaster involving a large number of people, consider commemorating the occasion with an award. Depending on your department, you can keep it simple with engraved coins or go for something more elaborate, like one of the Michael Garman Sculpture Awards depicting an action relevant to the situation. You should also consider fallen members of your team who died in the line of duty with a special award, plaque, or sculpture, given to their grieving loved ones or displayed in your building.
As long as your force has the resources, there is no reason to limit police and firefighter awards and plaques. Just make sure that you do not give them out too frequently as this will limit their meaningfulness. Otherwise, you have the ability to honour your team for anything you feel is worthy of an award.