Tag Archives: Symbol

History of the Star of Life

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STAR OF LIFE

 

The Star of Life was designed by Leo R. Schwartz, who was Chief of the EMS Branch of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 1973, the American Red Cross complained to the NHTSA that the use of the common Omaha Orange Cross on a square background of reflectorized white closely resembled the Red Cross symbol. Once the NHTSA investigated and agreed with the complaint, the new Blue Star of Life (displayed above) was born.

 

This new symbol was designed using the Medical Identification Symbol as a guide. The Star of Life was registered as a certification mark with the Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks on February 1, 1977.

 

The center of the star consists of the snake and staff. The staff is named Asclepius, who according to Greek mythology, was the son of Apollo. Theory states Asclepius learned the art of healing from the centaur Cheron.. Asclepius was usually shown in a standing position with a long cloak and holding a staff with a serpent coiled around it. This is why the staff is the long-standing symbol representing medicine.  In the Physicians and Military Medical Corp, the Caduceus is used. The Caduceus is a winged staff with two serpents intertwined around it.

 

The six points of the Star of Life Symbol are meant to represent the true meaning of the EMS System. These include Detection, Reporting, Response, On Scene Care, Care in Transit, and Transfer to Definitive Care.

 

The use of the Star of Life Symbol is regulated and monitored by the NHTSA