King's Fire Service Medal

The King's Fire Service Medal, introduced in 1954, is awarded to members of the fire services in the United Kingdom for distinguished service or gallantry. It was also formerly awarded by Commonwealth countries, most of which now have their own honours systems.

King's Fire Service Medal
KFSM ribbons for Gallantry (left) and Distinguished Service (right)
Awarded for'acts of exceptional courage and skill at the cost of their lives' or for the 'exhibition of conspicuous devotion to duty'.[1]
Presented byUnited Kingdom and Commonwealth
EligibilityMembers of the Fire Services
Post-nominalsKFSM (2022–present)
QFSM (1954–2022)
Established19 May 1954
Order of Wear
Next (higher)King's Police Medal, for Gallantry (KFSM for gallantry)
King's Police Medal, for Distinguished Service (KFSM for service)[2]
Next (lower)Royal West African Frontier Force Distinguished Conduct Medal (KFSM for gallantry)[2]
King's Ambulance Service Medal (KFSM for service)[3]

Members of recognised fire brigades were eligible for the King's Police Medal from its creation in July 1909, with the award renamed the King's Police and Fire Services Medal in September 1940. In 1954 separate medals were established for the police and the Fire Service, with the Queen's Police Medal and the Queen's Fire Service Medal both instituted on 19 May 1954.[4] Recipients from 1969 to 8 September 2022 may use the post-nominal letters “QFSM”.[5] Recipients from 8 September 2022 may use the post-nominal letters "KFSM".

The award has two categories. The most common is the King's Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service. The equivalent medal for gallantry, the King's Fire Service Medal for Gallantry, can only be awarded posthumously and has, up to 2022, never been awarded,[6] with members of the fire service also eligible for the George Cross, George Medal and the King's Gallantry Medal.

There is provision for the forfeiture of the award in the event of a recipient later being convicted of a criminal offence.[5]


  • The medal is silver and 36 millimetres in diameter, with the ribbon suspended from a ring.
  • The obverse bears the profile of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • The reverse shows a standing figure with a sword and shield, with an inscription of "For Distinguished Fire Service" around the medal's edge. The gallantry version has the words "For Gallantry" in the exergue.
  • The name of the recipient is inscribed on the rim of the medal.
  • The 1.38 inches (35 mm) wide ribbon is of red with three yellow stripes. The King's Fire Service Medal for Gallantry has a single thin dark blue stripe running through the centre of each yellow stripe.[5]

See also


  1. "It's An Honour has a new home". Archived from the original on 23 June 2006. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  2. "No. 56878". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 March 2003. p. 3352.
  3. "The Queen's Ambulance Service Medal Royal Warrant" (PDF). The Stationery Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 August 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  4. Abbott, PE; Tamplin, JMA (1981). British Gallantry Awards. Nimrod Dix & Co. pp. 186–191. ISBN 0902633740.
  5. Abbott, PE; Tamplin, JMA (1981). British Gallantry Awards. Nimrod Dix & Co. pp. 252–254. ISBN 0902633740.
  6. Mussell, John (ed). (2019). Medal Yearbook 2020. Honiton, Devon: Token Publishing. p. 94. ISBN 978-1908828484.
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