Who would be the patron of Firefighters and Emergency Medical Response personnel?
Generally it is not the custom in the Orthodox Church to have patron saints of various vocations and trades, even though there are a few saints designated as such. To my knowledge, the Orthodox Church does not look to any particular saint as the patron of firefighters and emergency medical response personnel.
Probably the Roman Catholic Church, which does cherish this custom, has such a patron.
Sorry I could not be of more assistance.
From one of our readers:
In response to the question and answer on the patron of fire-fighters and medical response people, St Florian, an early Christian Martyr, is the Catholic designate for these professions.
During the Crusades when the Knights Templar were mounting the walls of Jerusalem, the Saracens began pouring petrol (or whatever flammable substance they had then) on the knights. Then, a burning torch was shot over the wall at the Knights and many caught fire and died.
The Knights then introduced a category of soldiers whose job it would be to watch their comrades in battle to ensure they would be protected from firy hazards such as that. This brigade even wore a special version of the Templar Cross, which, to this day, continues to be the Cross of the fire-fighters and their units continue to be called “brigades.” St Florianwas then appointed their patron.
In some areas of Eastern Europe, the icon of St Michael is carried by “pozhezhniky” or fire-fighters who are Orthodox Christians as their protector.
For other information on St Florian:
St Florian (http://www.catholic.org)
Paintings by Albrecht Altdorfe (on website of University College Cork, Ireland)