Ministry of the
Solicitor General

Fire Services Long Service Medals

Fire Services Medals (Provincial and Federal)

The Ontario Long Service

Ontario Long Service Medal

First awarded in 1971, "The Fire Services Long Service Medal" is an expression of public appreciation for the dedication and hard work of Ontario fire fighters. It is officially recognized by the province and is included in the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997. Both full-time and volunteer fire fighters can qualify for the medal.

Approved by the College of Heralds, it is worn on the left breast subordinate to Canadian or British decorations. Suspended from a red, white and green ribbon, the circular medal bears on the obverse the Maltese cross, with the coat of arms of Ontario superimposed and the inscription 'Fire Services Ontario'. The inscription 'For Long Service the Fire Protection and Prevention Act' appears on the reverse.

Besides the medal, recipients are also presented with a citation, which includes their name and signature of the Fire Marshal of Ontario. There are no citations prepared for service bar recipients.

The long service medal and subsequent service bars are available to those who have achieved a minimum of 25-years in suppression, training, public education, inspections, and communications are eligible to receive the medal. Also available is an award of a brooch or tie pin and certificate for those whose role is in that of an Administrative Assistant or support role who has achieved a minimum of 20-years of service. 

Applying for Provincial Awards and Administrative Award:

Provincial fire service medals, service bars and administrative assistants' recognition applications forms are available online. Forms can be e-mailed to or faxed to the awards coordinator at 647-723-2039 once completed and signed. Please ensure that the information is legible to avoid incorrect information printed on citations. 

Provincial medals are presented at regional investitures, typically on a revolving two-year schedule. Recipients who are unable to attend or that are expecting service bars will receive their medals and service bars from their Fire Chief. Medals and service bars are sent to the attention of the Fire Chief after an investiture. If you require the provincial medals for a ceremony earlier, please notify the awards coordinator a minimum of 6 weeks to ensure delivery by courier.

Districts that do not have enough applicants to hold a ceremony (approximately 20 -25 are required) are invited to attend a ceremony in a bordering municipality or Region.

*Please note dates and locations are subject to change depending on attendance and facility availability. Please contact the awards coordinator at 647-329-1066 or by email to to confirm dates and locations in your region. 

Dates and locations of 2017 Investitures



May 25, 2017


June 15, 2017

North Wellington

Other investiture ceremonies will be posted here at a later date

Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal (Governor General)

Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal (Governor General)

In mid-1985 the Government of Canada accepted the proposal for the creation of a service medal for all full-time and volunteer members of Canada's Fire Service. Regulations paralleling those of other Exemplary Service Medals were drafted and a proposed design for the medal was submitted to representatives of the Fire Service. Once approved, the regulations and design were forwarded to the Sovereign with Cabinet's recommendations.

Her Majesty The Queen signed Letters Patent creating the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal on August 29, 1985.

The design of the Medal incorporates crossed axes, a hydrant, and a stylized Maltese Cross, an internationally recognized symbol of the fire prevention community. Both are superimposed on a maple leaf, the standard background symbol of Canadian honours. The red of the ribbon represents fire; the gold, common to all Exemplary Service Medals, represents the quality of the service honoured.

The Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal, honours members of a recognized Canadian fire service who have completed a minimum of 20 years of service, ten years of which have been served in the performance of duties involving potential risk, and were employed on or after the date of creation of the Medal. Recognized fire services include Canadian fire departments, fire marshals' offices, fire commissioners' offices and the Canadian Forces fire services provided the nominee has not been previously recognized with a Certificate of Declaration (CD) medal for a minimum number of 12 years of military service or subsequent clasps.  Exemplary service is characterized by good conduct, industry and efficiency.

Consideration is given only to periods of service for which no other long service, good conduct or efficiency decoration or medal has been awarded by the Crown. The Medal may be awarded posthumously. 

Nomination Process for the FSESM 

The Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management receives the nomination form on behalf of the Office of the Governor General of Canada.  Our role is to determine eligibility and follow-up (if necessary) to the applying fire departments. All nomination forms must be emailed to the Awards Coordinator, Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management: Please list all nominees on one form. 

Please do not submit nomination forms before a nominee has fully completed their service. The form will be returned to you for resubmission when service is completed. There is no "bring-forward" system in place.

Link to current FSESM nomination form. 

Important information About Deadlines for Applications and Delivery of Awards

Once the nomination form has been recommended by the Awards Chair, the OFMEM forwards the form to the Chancellery for final processing and the preparation of certificates and award. Awards may take approximately up to 10 weeks for processing and are usually delivered by courier in two separate shipments to the attention of the requesting Fire Chief or Municipal official (in the case of an award for a Fire Chief). Please do not email the nomination form directly to the Chancellery (see page 4 of the form for instructions).

If you require medals for a specific presentation date. Please discuss your requirements at least 3 months in advance. The Chancellery will not rush medals or bars for your ceremony.

Exemplary medals are engraved and a citation is prepared. Both the medal and citation are couriered directly to the nominator, usually the Fire Chief, in two separate packages. Please note that since 2015 daily ribbon bar pieces are no longer included in the boxes of the federal award.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Federal Exemplary:  

Q: I am a Fire Chief and I am eligible for my medal/service bar; who can sign my application(s)?

A: The mayor, reeve, clerk or chief administrative officer (CAO) of your municipality can only sign this application; a deputy chief cannot sign for the chief. A chief cannot sign his or her own application. A fire chief cannot recommend another fire chief from another department.


Q: How long does it take to process these applications?

A: After the chancellery in Ottawa receives the application, it takes approximately 8-10 weeks to be sent back to the requesting fire chief.


Q: Where do I get the forms and can they be faxed or emailed?

A: The forms are only available online: and cannot be faxed, mailed or scanned/emailed. The form MUST be forwarded to in the pdf form completed so the Awards Committee may continue the process in section C. As noted on page 4 of the FSESM nomination form, please do not email the nomination form directly to the Chancellery. If you are experiencing difficulties with the form, please contact the awards coordinator at 647-329-1066 and you will be assisted in completing the form.


Q: My applicant is in fire prevention/education/communications officer: Do they qualify for the Exemplary Medal?

A: At this time, fire services positions other than high-risk (e.g. suppression) are not eligible for the medal. The chief must send in a job description for these applicants at the time the medal is being applied for and the awards committee will decide if the person is eligible.


Q: Does the OFMEM present the Federal Exemplary medals/bars at long service medal investiture ceremonies?

A: No, it is up to your municipality/department to award them.


Q: Does Canadian Forces' service count towards the Exemplary medal?

A: In some cases, no. Individuals receiving their CD medal/first clasp will have service deducted from their years of service (in most cases a minimum of 12 years)

Q: Does fire service contributed in other countries count towards the Exemplary medal?

A: Please call the awards coordinator to discuss your situation. In most situations the answer is no.

Provincial medal FAQs

Q: What happens to my applications once I send them in to be processed?

A: The awards coordinator will file them by municipality to be prepared for the long service medal investiture in that area (subject to scheduling). Due to the volume of the applications received daily we are unable to send notification to fire departments that these applications have been received.

Q: Are the forms available on-line?

A: Yes, please check: Applying for provincial and exemplary medals.  Once the forms are completed and signed, please fax them to the awards coordinator at 647-723-2039.  There are forms for Long Service (25 year medal), Service Bars (30, 35, 40, 45) and Fire Services' Administrative Assistant Award (20 years).

Q: Who are invited to attend long service medal investitures?

A: Fire Service/Fire Services Admin. personnel (and one guest) are invited to attend and be awarded the 25-year medal or 20 year administrative award; if a firefighter has previously received their medal from their municipality and were not able to attend the investiture at the time of their 25-year anniversary, then they are able to attend an investiture at another time (and in another area, if preferred); please inform the awards coordinator of your preference.  Posthumous medals can also be presented to a member of their family, along with one guest. Service bars are not presented at investitures unless authorized by the awards committee.  The Fire Chief and one municipal official is also invited to attend to support their recipient.

Q: Is fire service from other countries and Canadian armed forces counted towards the medal?

A: The fire service time must be performed in Ontario.  Please call the awards coordinator and discuss your situation; service from other jurisdictions may be deducted.

Q: Can prior Ontario police service count towards the medal?

A: Yes, a maximum of 12 years of police service performed in Ontario can be counted towards the medal provided the transition from police to fire was uninterrupted. Please contact the awards coordinator to discuss the service.