The Maltese Cross: A universal symbol uniting emergency medical services

What does the Maltese Cross mean to Emergency Medical Services?

Growing up we all remember seeing the Emergency Medical Services Maltese Cross on Paramedics uniforms, the side of Ambulances and on their equipment. At some stage we all hoped that one day we would be able to wear this iconic logo with pride whilst saving countless lives. For most of you reading this post, your childhood dream is about to come a reality.

emergency medical services

To emergency medical service personnel, this symbol means a lot. It’s not just a cute little logo, it gives us meaning. It shows that we belong to an important, life changing service that so many people trust and rely on.

Originating in 1567 with the Order or St John, the Maltese Cross is an eight-pointed cross is used for  Emergency Medical Services world wide. The four arms of this emblem represent the four cardinal virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude and its eight points represent the Eight Beatitudes: the blessedness of the merciful, the pure, the peacemakers, the persecuted, the humble, the comforters, the meek and the righteous.

This global symbol for Emergency Medical Services is placed on ambulances, uniforms, medical equipment, road maps, highway signs, hospitals and the list goes on. In fact, we wouldn’t mind betting that you would come across this logo almost every day.

“The more we see this logo, the more we trust it”

Whilst anything oversaturated typically looses its meaning, the Maltese Cross is quite the opposite. The more we see this logo, the more we trust it. It comforts us to know that there are people out there who are trained to save our lives. People who’s one job is to ensure our safety. Seeing that logo makes us feel protected.

As an Emergency Medical Services worker, this symbol is an important representation of who we are. It shows that we belong to something that has the power, strength and knowledge to make a difference to this world.

For an injured or ill person, the moments between calling 000 and medical help arriving can seem like an eternity but once a person wearing the Maltese Cross arrives all of that angst and worry disappears. The patient has complete trust in that paramedic, and the paramedic has complete trust in what they have learned.

EMS has earned a seat at the table with both fire and police, playing a vital role in ensuring public safety in a world that is increasingly hostile. In fact, many fire and police departments also use this recognisable symbol within their logos.

If you have taken the time to read this post, odds are you too are inspired by this symbol and its meaning.

Join the Emergency Medical Services – Become a Paramedic or Medic

At Australian Paramedical College, we are dedicated to delivering better-equipped emergency healthcare practitioners to the industry. As the largest pre-hospital emergency health care trainer in Australia we guarantee our graduates will possess a high level of skill and clinical competency.

If you are looking to pursue a career in this fulfilling industry – you need a plan, a plan that maps out your career and gives you some options on how to create that awesome career you have always dreamed of.  Tell us a little bit about yourself and we will deliver to you a solid plan on how to get started. At the very least, this plan will make things a lot clearer and you’ll be in a better position to make a decision on what to do next.

P.S. Did you know you need a degree to become an Ambulance Paramedic – let us show you ways to get into university – even if you feel you’re not smart enough.


What is your career journey?

To discover how you can become a fully qualified Ambulance Paramedic or Basic/Advanced Life Support Medic, complete a personalised paramedical career development plan.