ORDERS AND DECORATIONS OF POLAND|
Republic of Poland since 1990
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(Honorowa Odznaka Polskiego Czerwonego Krzyza "Krysztalowe Serce")
Instituted on November 27, 1986 by the Polish Red Cross Main Board as the highest Association award. The decoration can be conferred for at least 25 year service within the Red Cross to those members who are already in posession of the Meritorious Honorary Blood Donor Decoration 1st class or the gold Polish Red Cross Decoration of Honor 1st class. It is conferred in a single grade and worn on the neck.
Badge: a convex heart made of transparent crystal glass, set in a silver frame. Inside there is the red cross with a blood drop inside and the rays between the arms.
Ribbon: 38 mm, white with narrow red side stripes.
(Honorowa Odznaka Polskiego Czerwonego Krzyza)
Instituted on January 11, 1929, modified in 1937, 1945 and 1990. Conferred in four grades (gold 1st class, gold 2nd class, silver, bronze) for merit for the Polish or International Red Cross in various fields: nursing, caretaking, blood donation, etc.
Badge 1929-1937: gold decoration 1st class - gilt red
enameled Greek cross, 31 x 31 mm, with five plain rays and a crowned silver
eagle superimposed on the center. The reverse is plain, with the
abbreviation P.C.K. (Polski Czerwony Krzyz - Polish Red Cross) and
the semicircular inscription Zasludze below. Suspension ring has
the form of a laurel wreath. Gold decoration 2nd class - gilt round
medal, 30 mm of diameter, with a similar cross having a silver eagle in
the center; the whole surrounded by a close laurel wreath. Reverse:
as above. Silver and bronze decoration: silver and bronze medal,
30 mm of diameter, with a red enameled Greek cross in the center and an
eagle (in the same color as the medal) below; the whole surrounded by an
open laurel wreath. Reverse: as above.
Badge 1937-1945: Gold decoration 1st class - cross as above, but larger (37 x 37 mm). The reverse has the abbreviation P.C.K. Gold decoration 2nd class, silver and bronze decorations - similar crosses, but smaller in size (30 x 30 mm), gilt, silvered or bronze respectively. The eagle to the bronze decoration is bronze too.
Badge 1945-1991: as above but larger. The gold cross 1st class is 45 x 45 mm, that of the other classes - 36 x 36 mm. The eagle has no crown.
Badge since 1991: the badges and dimensions the same as in the previous period, yet the eagle has a crown again.
Ribbon: 38 mm, white with narrow red side stripes. When ribbon
bars alone are worn, that of the gold decoration 1st class has a small
rosette in the center.
(Odznaka Zasluzonego Honorowego Dawcy Krwi Polskiego Czerwonego Krzyza)
Instituted on January 28, 1968 as an extension to the Honorary Blood Donor Decoration. Conferred to blood donors who have donated 18 (1st class), 12 (2nd class) and 6 (3rd class) accumulated liters of blood (by women this amount is reduced to 15, 10 and 5 liters respectively). Those who have donated 20 liters of blood are eligible to the gold Cross of Merit, and until 1992 donors who had given 25 liters of blood could obtain the title of Meritorious to National Health. Since 1997 they are eligible to the Honorary Blood Donor Decoration - Meritorious to National Health
Badge 1st class: a rosette with five small red hearts with a stylized golden rays between them. Medallion: red cross on white background circumscribed HONOROWY DAWCA KRWI : PCK (honorary blood donor, Polish Red Cross). The reverse is plain.
Badge 2nd class: a white enameled cross pattée, rotated 45°, with a small blood drop through each arm. The cross is superimposed on a white enameled rhombus. Medallion as above.
Badge 3rd class: a red enameled cross with contracted arms and golden stylized lilies between them. Medallion as above.
Suspension of all classes: a golden, red enameled bar, 22 x 5 mm, inscribed ZASLUZONY (meritorious). When ribbon bars alone are worn, they are white with a broad yellow central stripe and narrow red side stripes.
(Odznaka Honorowego Dawcy Krwi Polskiego Czerwonego Krzyza)
Instituted on March 11, 1963. Conferred to blood donors who have donated 3 (1st class) accumulated liters of blood, 1.5 (2nd class) liters of blood within two years and 0.6 (3rd class) liters of blood in a single year respectively. More donated blood is honored with the Meritorious Honorary Blood Donor Decoration.
Badge: a golden, silver or bronze round plaque, 22 mm of diameter, with a red cross on white background; a red enameled ring bears the inscription HONOROWY DAWCA KRWI : PCK (honorary blood donor, Polish Red Cross). The ring of the 3rd class is bronze and non-enameled.
Organized 1921 as the Main Association of Fire Brigades' of the Republic
of Poland (Glowny Zwiazek Strazy Pozarnych Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej),
after the unification of several local firefighting organizations. In 1933 renamed to
the Association of Fire Brigades' of the Republic of Poland
(Zwiazek Strazy Pozarnych Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej). Dissolved 1949 by the
communist government, and restored in 1956 as the Voluntary Fire Brigades'
Association (Zwiazek Ochotniczych Strazy Pozarnych). The current name was
taken up in 1990. Apart from fighting fires and other calamities, the organization is
involved in cultural activities (music bands, clubs, etc.) particularly in the
rural areas. With about five hundered thousands members, it is currently the most popular organization in Poland.
VOLUNTARY FIRE BRIGADES' ASSOCIATION
OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND
(ZWIAZEK OCHOTNICZYCH STRAZY POZARNYCH RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ POLSKIEJ - ZOSP RP)
* * *
(Medal Boleslawa Chomicza)
Instituted 1996 on the occassion of the 75th anniversary of the Association. Conferred to the most outstanding members for long and exceptionally meritorious service. It can also be conferred to Association units of long (at least 75 year) firefighting tradition. Named in honor of Boleslaw Chomicz (1878-1959), a pioneer of Polish firefighting and President of the Associaion. It is the counterpart of the Jozef Tuliszkowski Medal, conferred by the Voluntary Fire Brigades' Association.
Badge: silver table medal, 80 mm in diameter. Obverse: the bust of Boleslaw Chomicz in the uniform of the President of the Association and the commander class of the Order Polonia Restituta on his neck, with a three-line inscription BOLESLAW / CHOMICZ / 1878-1959 on the right. Reverse: a trophy composed of fire helmets, hooks, axes, a ladder , a bugle, a bell and oak leaves, with the Gold Decoration of Honor of the Association in the center. Below there is a scroll with the intenational motto of firefighters BOGU NA CHWALE LUDZIOM NA POZYTEK (for God's splendor, for people's profit).
(Odznaka honorowa "Zloty znak Zwiazku Ochotniczych Strazy Pozarnych")
Instituted in 1922 as the highest association award; modified 1926, 1933, 1956 and 1990. Conferred for most outstanding merit in the organization of voluntary fire service in Poland (only 21 individuals were awarded until 1939). Originally a pin decoration worn on the right chest pocket, from 1926 to 1933 - on the ribbon in the second buttonhole of the tunic, and since then as a cravat decoration.
Badge 1922-1956: gilt cross, 39 x 39 mm, with slightly concave
arm sides and bases, and ball finials. The arms are covered with red enamel
and are superimposed on a narrow gilt laurel wrearh. On the upper arm there
is the effigy of St. Floryan (patron saint of firemen). The medallion
is large, circular and contains a stylized silver crowned eagle on red
background; the white ring around contained initially the inscription GL.
ZWIAZEK STRAZY POZAR. RZECZPOSP. POLSKIEJ (Main Fire Brigades' Association
of the Republic of Poland), substituted by the new one ZWIAZEK STRAZY POZ.
RZECZPOSP. POLSKIEJ (Voluntary Fire Brigades' Association of the Republic
of Poland) in 1933. The reverse is plain.
Badge 1956-1990: as above, but the arms are white and the medallion ring is blue, the effigy of St. Florian substituted by silver flames and the eagle's crown removed. The new inscription in the ring sounds ZWIAZEK OCHOTNICZYCH : STRAZY POZARNYCH (Voluntary Fire Brigades' Association).
Badge since 1990: as in the previous period, but the eagle has a crown again. The new inscription says ZWIAZEK OCHOTNICZYCH : STRAZY POZARNYCH R.P.
Ribbon:originally 35 mm, claret with white edges; from 1933 - 40 mm, of brighter red (signal red) with white side stripes, from 1981 - signal red with white edges.
(Godnosc Czlonka Honorowego ZOSP)
Instituted by the decision of the High Presidium of the Association of January 23, 1973 as the supreme award of the Association. Conferred to the members of the organization who rendered most outstanding merit to the organization. In exceptional cases it could be conferred to non-members as well. The decoration was discontinued in 1993.
Badge: gilt plaque, cobered with white enamel. In the center there is a blue circle with red flames and two crossed axes protruding from it. Below there are two laurel sprays. the reverse is blank.
Suspension: silver bar with a three line inscription CZLONEK / HONOROWY ZWIAZKU / OSP (honorary member of the Association) and two gilt laurel sprays below.
(Zloty Medal za Ratowanie Ginacych)
(Zloty Krzyz za Ratowanie Ginacych)
The Gold Medal for Saving Life was instituted in 1922. It was conferred to members of Volntary Fire Brigades for saving life of other people during the fire action at the risk of one's own life during fire actions and other calamities. In 1926 the medal was replaced by the cross. Both the medal and the cross could be conferred many times to the same individual. In People's Poland the decoration was not conferred. It was not renewed in the Third Republic either.
Medal: gold ,32 mm in diameter. Obverse: the Gold Decoration of Honor of the Association, circumscribed GLOWNY ZWIAZEK STRAZY POZARNYCH : RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ POLSKIEJ. Reverse: a crowned eagle on starry background, circumscribed ZA RATOWANIE GINACYCH (for saving life) and with two laurel sprays below.
Cross: gold cross pattée with concave arms, 38 x 38 mm. The central medallion bear the Association's silver eagle on red background; the arms of the cross bear the inscription ZA : RATO : WANIE : GI- / NACYCH. Between the arms there are crossed axes and two laurel sprays below. Reverse: the medallion depicts a gold fire helmet on red background, while the arms are inscribed GL. : ZW. : STR. : POZ / R.P.
Ribbon: 30 mm, medal - half sapphire blue half white, with black edge stripes; cross - half sapphire blue with black edges, half white.
(Srebrny Medal za Dzielnosc i Odwage w Sluzbie Strazackiej)
(Srebrny Krzyz za Dzielnosc i Odwage w Sluzbie Strazackiej)
The Silver Medal for Courage and Bravery in Fire Service was instituted in 1922 and was conferred to members of Volntary Fire Brigades for acts of bravery in action at the risk of one's own life. In 1926 the medal was replaced by the cross. Both the medal and the cross could be conferred many times to the same individual. In People's Poland the decoration was not conferred. It was renewed in the Third Republic in 1993, again in the form of the medal, but it has not been conferred so far.
Medal: silver, 32 mm in diameter. Obverse: the Gold Decoration of Honor of the Association, circumscribed GLOWNY ZWIAZEK STRAZY POZARNYCH : RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ POLSKIEJ. Reverse: a helmet and two axes with a ladder below, all surrounded by an laurel and oak wreath and circumscribed ZA DZIELNOSC I ODWAGE W SLUZBIE STRAZACKIEJ.
Cross: silver cross pattée, 35 x 35 mm. The central medallion depicts the Association's eagle on red background, surrounded by a laurel wreath; the arms bear the inscription ZA : DZIEL : NOSC : I ODWAGE. Reverse of the medallion has a helmet and two crossed axes surrounded by a ring inscribed ZW. STRAZY POZARNYCH R.P.
Medal 1993: 35.5 mm in diameter, depicting the obverse and reverse of the cross above, however with some minor alterations. The inscription of the obverse arms now reads ZA / DZIELNOSC : I / ODWAGE : W / SLUZBIE : STRAZACKIEJ, while the reverse ring is inscribed ZWIAZEK OCHOTNICZYCH STRAZY POZARNYCH R.P.
Ribbon: 30 mm. Medal 1922 - sapphire blue with white (inner) and black edges; cross - white with sapphire blue and black edges; medal 1993 - lighr blue with white and sapphire blue edges.
(Medal za Dlugoletnia Nieskazitelna Sluzbe)
Instituted in 1922. Conferred in one class to members of the association who had completed 30 years of voluntary service. In 1926 the medal was replaced by the Medal of Merit.
Badge: silver medal, 32 mm in diameter. Obverse: the figure of an angel with a laurel wreath in the hands, with a four line inscription ZA / DLUGOLETNIA / NIESKAZITELNA / SLUZBE, above an oak spray, helmet, axe and ladder. Reverse: the Gold Decoration of Honor of the Association with the inscription ZWIAZEK FLORIANSKI : W JEDNOSCI SILA (in unity strength) and small inscription GLOWNY ZWIAZEK STRAZY POZARNYCH : RZECZYPOSPOLITEJ POLSKIEJ around.
Ribbon: 30 mm, red with white edges.
(Medal "Za zaslugi dla Pozarnictwa")
Instituted in 1926, modified 1933, 1956 (renewed), 1959 and in the nineties. Awarded in three grades (gold, silver and bronze) to honor acts of courage in action and merit in organizing fire service and fire protection. Until 1956 the medal could be conferred a few times in the same grade, subsequent awards being denoted by bars on the ribbon. Since then the gold and silver medals can be awarded twice, while the bronze one once only; each award is worn separately.
Badge: medal of gilt, silver and bronze metal, 32 mm of diameter. Obverse: an eagle as worn by members of the Volunteer Fire Brigades' Association, sitting on two crossed axes and with two semicircular laurel sprays in the lower part. The upper part had originally the inscription GL. ZW. STRAZY POZARNYCH R.P. (Main Fire Brigades' Association of the Republic of Poland), substituted in 1933 by *ZW. STRAZY POZARNYCH R.P.* (Fire Brigades' Association of the Republic of Poland), and in 1959 by ZW. OCHOTNICZYCH STRAZY POZARNYCH (Voluntary Fire Brigades' Association), and since about 1990 ZW. OCHOTNICZYCH STRAZY POZARNYCH R.P. From 1959 until early nineties the eagle was deprived of the crown. Reverse (worn sometimes as the obverse): a female figure, holding a palm spray in the raised left hand and with a gothic shield with a burning torch in the right hand. On the right there is the four line inscription ZA / ZASLUGI / DLA / POZARNICTWA (for merit in fire service).
Ribbon: 36 mm, red with broad white edges. Until 1956 the subsequent
awards of each grade were denoted by horizontal bars in the form of axes
of the same color as the medal itself.
(Odznaka za Zaslugi we Wspolzawodnictwie Przeciwpozarowym)
Instituted by the High Presidium of the Association in 1977. Conferred to the Association members who distinguished themselves in organizing and popularizing fire protection. The decoration has one class and can be conferred only once.
Badge: gilt medal, 38 mm in diameter, depicting a stylized six pointed blue enameled star. The central medallion depicts a helmet with flames in the background, surrounded by a gilt ring, circumscribed ZA ZASLUGI : WE WSPOLZAWODNICTWIE PPOZ. The reverse is blank.
Suspension: pentagonal bar enameled half blue half red.
Ribbon bar: 37 mm, half blue half red.
(Znak (Odznaka) "Za wysluge lat")
Instituted in 1919. Awarded for each completed five years of honorable service in the Voluntary Fire Brigades. It is a pin badge, worn on the right breast pocket of the tunic. Only one badge with the highest number of years can be worn at a time.
Badge: 32 x 40 mm. In the center on the red enameled round shield
there is the number of completed years of service: V, X, XV, XX, XXV, XXX,
XXXV, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 or 65 respectively. The years up to 35 are in
Roman numerals, above that - in Arabic numerals. Around there is a white
enameled ring circumscribed initially ZWIAZEK FLORJANSKI (St. Floryan Association),
from 1922 - GL. ZW. STR. POZ. R.P. (Fire Brigades' Main Association of
the Republic of Poland), from 1933 - ZW. STR. POZ. R.P. (Fire Brigades'
Association of the Republic of Poland), and from 1956 - ZW. OCHOTN. STRAZY
POZ. (Voluntary Fire Brigades' Association) and from 1990 - ZW. OCHOTN.
STRAZY POZ. R.P., in the upper part. The lower part has the constant inscription
ZA WYSLUGE LAT (for longevity), separated from the upper one by two asterisks.
The shield is superimposed on two crossed axes and surrounded by a gilt
laurel wreath. At the bottom there is a fire pump and the whole badge is
surmounted by a parade helmet. The reverse is plain, with a screw
(Oznaka "Strazak Wzorowy")
Instituted by the High Presidium of the Association on September 18, 1959. Conferred to the members who have completed at least 3 years of service and shown full operational readiness.
Badge: a gilt triangular plaque pointing up, enameled half red half blue, surrounded by a laurel wreath and with two axes protruding from it. The central part depicts the head of a fireman in a helmet and inscribed STRAZAK WZOROWY below. The reverse has a mounting screw.
(Odznaka Mlodziezowej Druzyny OSP)
Instituted by the High Presidium of the Association on January 30, 1969. Conferred in three classes (gold, silver and bronze) to members of youth fire troops upon completion of the prescribed service period. The gold, silver and bronze decorations can be conferred for 6, 18 and 30 months of service respectively. It can also be conferred to firefight instructors for training youth troopers.
Badge: 28 x 20 mm, in the form of the head of a fire axe, with the letters OSP on the left and the inscription DRUZYNA : MLODZIEZOWA below. The reverse has a pin or screw for mounting.
(Medal Strazacki 10-lecia Odrodzenia Polski "Sami Sobie")
Instituted by the decision of the Association Presidium to commemorate the 10th anniversary of independence. Conferred in three classes (gold, silver and bronze) to Association members who had completed at least 10, 5 and 3 years of service respectively. All recipients were bound to give a donation for the Firefighter's House in Warsaw.
Badge: gold, silver or bronze medal, 36 mm in diameter. Obverse: the building of the Firefighter's House, surrounded by a half laurel half oak wreath, and with the inscription SAMI /SOBIE (to ourselves) below. Reversse: a stylized eagle sitting on the crossed axe and hook; below there is a three line inscription W X-LECIE / ODRODZENIA POLSKI / 1918-1928 (on the tenth anniversary of Poland's restitution) on the flame-like background.
Ribbon: 36 mm, dark green.
(Medal Jubileuszowy 10-lecia Zwiazku Polskich Strzy Pozarnych w Czechoslowacji)
Instituted in 1931, on the occassion of the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Association of Polish Fire Brigades in Czechoslovakia (Zwiazek Polskich Strazy Pozarnych w Czechoslowacji), which existed in the area of the city of Cieszyn. Conferred in two classes (silver and bronze).
Medal: 34 mm in diameter. Obverse: the head of a fireman in a helmet, extinguishing fire and circumscribed ZWIAZEK POLSKICH STRAZY POZARNYCH : W CZECHOSLOWACJI. Reverse: a bar with the years 1921-1931 superimposed on a laurel spray.
Ribbon: 36 mm, half white half red or just plain red.