Honoring the Very First First Responders

Posted by Adrian Alexander | Monday July 22nd, 2019 | Topic: Design

911 Dispatchers Get Challenge Coins Too

For a lot of people, having to call 911 often signifies one of the worst days of their life. Even when the outcome is positive and uplifting, the moment of the emergency is sure to be one of the most traumatic and hardest things a person is likely to go through. Helping a caller through that process is the difficult, and often thankless, job of 911 dispatchers.

When people think about and talk about first responders, often they mean police officers, EMS personnel and firefighters, but the truth is that the very first responder to any emergency is the person who answers the phone when you call 911. The brave men and women in those positions may not go rushing head first into danger, but they are often charged with keeping people calm during innately terrifying and stressful situations. In addition to that, 911 dispatchers have to get crucial information from distressed individuals, talk people through life-saving procedures, and generally listen to some of the most distressing situations known to man. If any first responder deserves to have their effort immortalized on a coin, it’s certainly these heroes.

The good news is that we’ve been lucky enough to create a number of different challenge coins in honor of the men and women with one of the hardest jobs in the nation. While the other first responder services tend to get the most attention, we wanted to take the time to showcase some of the great coins we’ve created for 911 dispatchers. Let us know which one’s your favorite. 

Thin Gold Line Challenge Coins

While the police officers have their thin blue line, the symbol for 911 dispatchers tends to be the thin gold line. As such it shows up fairly often in the coins we create for these first responders.


This coin from Fayette County probably had the most fun with their thin gold line design. Instead of putting it in the middle of a flag the way a lot of the coins with that imagery tend to, they took the opportunity to dual plate the front face of the coin in order to incorporate nothing more than a small strip of gold in the sea of antique silver. The red, white and blue colorfill in the background of the coin also goes a long way towards helping these small elements of the design stand out.


Seekonk is a small town in Massachusetts on the border of Rhode Island. With a population of little more than 14,000, their emergency services units aren’t likely to be the busiest in the country, but that doesn’t stop them from showing their support and appreciation to the men and women who hold the system together.

The above coin also makes use of the thin gold line imagery, but this time it’s placed towards the top of a U.S. flag and shares space with the thin red line of the fire department and the thin blue line of law enforcement. This coin represents something we see a lot more often in 911 dispatcher coins than we do in the coins created exclusively for police units and firehouses: inclusivity for other first responder units.


This coin for the regional communication centers in Michigan takes that concept of inclusivity to another level. Recognizing the 911 dispatchers in Negaunee, Gaylord, Lansing and Detroit, this one coin spans almost the entire state. In addition to including that representation, the obverse face of the coin also pays homage to the police, state police, fire services and EMS teams. Not to mention the use of University of Michigan’s trademark blue and maize colors to bring the whole thing together. If there’s one 911 dispatcher coin that pulls together all of the different aspects of these types of coins, it’s sure to be this one from the great lakes state.

The Most Admirable Qualities

People who choose to work as first responders are some of the bravest, most impressive people you’re likely to ever meet. They rush headlong into danger in the interest of saving complete strangers, and they sit on the phone and listen to the most distressing things and help people through some of the most difficult times in their lives. It’s nothing short of amazing.

The 911 dispatcher coins featured here embody some of the best aspects, not only of challenge coins, but of these organizations as a whole. Their inclusion, their dedication to reaching out to the people and the organization most likely to alleviate the emergency at hand, and their generally egalitarian nature all shine through in their coin designs. And there can be no greater honor for us as a company than getting the opportunity to create coins that, in some small way, thank these unsung heroes for their exceptional service.

Adrian Alexander Blog Author

Adrian Alexander

Adrian Alexander is a Central Florida native and has been working in Marketing and Content Creation since he graduated from Rollins College. His two great loves are writing and the beach, and he can’t imagine living anywhere that’s more than an hour away from the ocean. When he’s not writing blogs for Signature Promotional Group, he can be found playing video games, floating in a pool, reading or writing a new novel. If you think your Signature order deserves to be featured in a blog, give us a call or contact us explaining why at https://signaturecoins.com/contact