Star of Life HistoryOriginally used by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Star of Life symbol authenticated ambulances and EMS professionals. Prior to its adoption as a national standard, it was common to see an “Omaha orange” cross on a white background to designate emergency units. However, the similarities between this logo and that of the American National Red Cross led to the creation of the blue and white Star of Life symbol that we use today. The Star of Life was patented by the American Medical Association in 1967 as the official medical identification symbol, and it was later trademarked in 1977.
Star of Life SymbolismThe Star of Life symbol features a blue 6 barred cross that represents the 6 functions of the emergency medical system as follows:
- On-scene care
- Care in transit
- Transfer to definitive care
Depicted in the center of the cross is the Rod of Asclepius, (the snake entwind around a staff) that represents the god of medicine and healing from Greek mythology. The star of life is a powerful symbol that represents the commitment and service to health and healing provided by EMS professionals.
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