Service clothing of firemen and women in Bavaria

Fahnen Kössinger, July 2018

Service clothing of firemen and women in Bavaria

The member of a firebrigade wearing service clothing is seen on par with the firebrigades in Bavaria, even in the whole of Germany and regarded as representative as he or she is. This is emphasized in a presentation of the Bavarian Firebrigade Association in order to point out the role model of bearers of firebrigade clothing. This refers to the completeness of the equipment as well as the correct attachment of service and function badges. The application of the latter is as regulated as their placement on cap, uniform jacket, shirt, or mission clothing. Generally, there is a distinction between the protective clothing, the service clothes, and the private apparel.

While, according to § 1 Nr. 2 AVBayFwG, municipalities are obliged to take care of the equipment of the single firefighter during their missions, the service clothes consisting of coat, jacket, shirt, and cap that are also financed by the community may be supplemented by personal parts such as trousers, skirts, shoes, and stockings.
It is up to the service leader, commander, mission chief, group leader, or chairman which kind of clothing has to be worn. The service suit is only put on for parades, mourning services, during instructions or assembly, but not during missions or while training or exercising.

Placement of badges and nametags

In order to avoid an excess of honorary badges on the uniform, only the highest award is put on at a time. The placement of each pin or nametag should be uniform for all members so as to achieve a clean and homogenous overall picture of the brigade. Nametags can be attached to the right breast pocket of the jacket, medals and honoray badges on the left one. Leather fobs are buttoned to the right breast pocket. Pins of events are only attached on the day of the festivity, they are taken off again afterwards.

Embroidered sleeve badges

A crest-shaped sleeve badge shows the belonging to a community firebrigade. The writing on top of the embroidered badge in red twill matter is done in white thread, in two lines FREIWILLIGE FEUERWEHR. The name of the municipality appears at the bottom in a bow. In the center, either the colorful crest of the town or village is embroidered in or the white-and-blue rhomb pattern of Bavaria. The badges are sewn onto the left sleeve of the jacket or shirt. For uniforms, felt matter can be used. Shirt badges are made of twill and can be machine washed.
Professional firebrigades wear triangular, black sleeve badges. The equilateral triangle is put on the tip and shows the yellow text BERUFSFEUERWEHR on top and, in a second line, the name of the respective community. Below, the crest appears.
Company firefighter badges have a similar execution as the voluntary ones, crest-shaped, with the text WERKFEUERWEHR on top and the name of the company and possibly the community in the bow at the bottom. In the center, the company logo is placed.

Cap and collar emblems

The dark blue service caps are equipped with a cockade, silver or golden cap badges and a black resp. silver (for higher service grades) cord.

Service grade badges

These grade badges are attached to the left upper sleeve of jacket or coat and come in 10 different grades, from the simple red border around a black rectangle of the firebrigade trainee up to the badge of the main firefighter master with three broad silver beams.

Function badges

Specialized forces such as doctors, technical consultants or priest can be identified by triangular badges with a grey border and the respective appellation with a symbol such as the Aesculapian staff or a star.

Seniority badges

The rectangular badges with stylised silver (for firefighter masters) resp. golden (for firefighter counsillor resp. inspector) laurel twigs bear the Roman number X for every 10 years of service time. These badges are applied to the right sleeve of the jacket or coat.