The Meaning of the MSVFA Logo.

The outline of the State of Minnesota identifies members of the MSVFA no matter where we go in this great country. Everyone we come in contact with you will recognize you as being from our great state of Minnesota.

The era of horse drawn fire apparatus extended from the Civil War through the 1920's. This logo is dedicated to the firefighters of the era who have paved the way for all of us in the present. The logo is also dedicated to all those who will take up this profession in the future as they will look back at the past and thank you, the firefighters of today, as they move into their future.

Each horse represents strength and the seeking of information from all directions. Each horse is non conforming to traditional shape which represents our rebellious search for information and the truth.

  • The left horse represents the past as we learn from history and those that have been this way before.
  • The center horse represents the left and right as we continue our search for truth. The center horse is kept in the middle to remind us to not veer to far to either side and strive for balance. The spaces between the horses reminds us that we need to allow outside forces to enter our world from time to time and influence our search for information.
  • The right horse represents the seeking of information into the future where we have not yet ventured. We must be forward seeking to be prepared for what awaits us.

These strong alert horses are in motion and not standing still. Our actions as firefighters must also be in constant forward motion as we strive for perfection in our profession.

There are three horses, a team, which reflects how we function in our profession. We accomplish little as an individual but as a team we can reach our goals, form great bonds and proudly march towards the future.

The banner ties the past, present and future together to form the core of our profession.

The steamer represent technology and the ingenuity of the firefighters.

The smoke from the steamer represents the ever ready attitude of the firefighter. The steamers always had coals that were warm and when alarms sounded were stoked enroute.

The driver of the team, a senior firefighter, bringing all of the resources together and directing them towards one common goal, to save a life and protect the property of their fellow man.

This team is coming straight at you. This represents what the MSVFA will be doing to represent the firefighters of Minnesota. Experienced, confident, not afraid, compassionate, vigilant, hard charging when necessary, as we protect the rights of firefighters.

Horse Facts

Fire horses came in three classifications:

  • The lightweight: 1,100 pound horses that were used on the hose wagons,
  • The middleweight: 1,400 pound horses that were used on the steamers, and
  • The large, 1,700 pounders that were used to pull the hook and ladders as well as other heavy equipment.

Fire horses required much stamina and strength and natural ability. One expert of the time said it was usually a one-in-a-hundred selection. Their training took between one and two years. Some cities actually had horse colleges where many of horses were trained.


Artist Matt Schroeder

The artistic skills of Matt Schroeder (picture) created the beautiful logo for our association.

Matt worked for weeks on the original design and labored with suggestions to incorporate into the logo. He first created a pencil sketch of the logo. Then added color and the banner on the horses.

Digitizer Paul Karpen with his abilities on the computer took Matt's drawing and digitized the artwork.