Emergency Service Medal

Emergency Service Medal front

Emergency Service Medal front
Emergency Service Medal back

Emergency Service Medal back


The Emergency Services Medal recognises distinguished service by members of emergency services across Australia, and people who are involved in emergency management, training or education.

State emergency services and voluntary emergency organisations are eligible for the award.


Along with the Ambulance Service Medal, the Emergency Services Medal was introduced into the Australian system of honours in 1999.

The Emergency Services Medal was established on 7 July 1999 by Letters Patent.


Paul Genner ESM was awarded the Emergency Service Medal in 2004

How it is awarded

The Governor-General awards the Emergency Services Medal on the recommendation of the responsible Commonwealth, state and territory ministers.

The medal may be awarded to a person who has given distinguished service as a member of an emergency service.

The medal may be awarded regardless of whether the person is eligible for any other award because of the service. However, a person who is already a holder of the medal is not eligible for another award of the medal.

Each Australian emergency service organisation may award:

  • One medal for every 1000 full-time members, or part of 1000, full-time members in every calender year.
  • One medal for every 5000, or part of 5000 part-time, volunteer or auxiliary members.

One medal may be awarded in a calender year for the Australian Capital Territory. One medal may be awarded in a calender year for the Northern Territory and one medal may be awarded in a calender year for all external Territories.

Awards are announced on Australia Day (January 26) and the Queen’s Birthday (June) each year.

Only one award can be made to an individual. Recipients are entitled to the post-nominal ESM.

Medal Design

The central motif of the Emergency Services Medal is a raised equilateral triangle with bevelled edges. This is bordered by stylised sprays of wattle.

The centre of the triangle features a raised impression of the Federation Star that is surrounded by twenty-four balls. The balls represent the twenty-four hours per day the Emergency Service is available to the community.

The back of the medal has the inscription ‘For Distinguished Service’.

The medal is silver and bronze colouring.

Medal ribbon

The 32 millimetre-wide ribbon features a centre band of an orange and white checkerboard pattern, flanked on each outer edge by a royal blue band.