15 Best Gifts for Firefighters (2020) – Birthday, Retirement, Christmas

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When buying a gift for a firefighter, we love the idea of getting one that’s got a theme to it. Firefighters are often incredibly proud of their profession – and getting them a thoughtful themed gift can show them you are also proud of them.

We’ve brought together what we think are some of the top firefighter presents that firefighters would love. We feel they’d be good gifts as a thank you present for a firefighter, a birthday present, a Christmas present, or a congratulations gift after a significant achievement.

While we list all 15 gift examples below, we’ll get start with a quick run-down of our top 7:

We think the 7 best gifts for firefighters are:

  • Turnout Gear – Best Birthday or Christmas Gift (jump to review)
  • Thank you Care Package – Best Thank You Gift (jump to review)
  • Thin Red Line Flag
  • Fireman Playing Set
  • Cufflinks – A Classy Gift (jump to review)
  • Maltese Cross Decanter – Best Retirement Gift (jump to review)
  • Helmet Mounted Flashlight

Scroll through to browse the various different options that we love and are available online today.

The Best Gifts for Firefighters this Year

1. Turnout Gear Bag


Every firefighter carries a lot of gear to and from work. A turnout gear bag is just about a basic necessity for the average firefighter. And so many firefighters have worn out, roughed up turnout gear bags. So, this can be a great gift idea (even better if you’ve heard them complain about it recently!). So we think this might be a thoughtful gift idea.

This turnout gear bag from Amazon is well regarded. It’s large enough to fit a bunch of turnout gear including a turnout coat, pants, boots, helmet, and flashlight, and probably a whole bunch more!

The other cool thing about this bag is that it has the Maltese Cross on it – the insignia of firefighters worldwide.

2. Pocket Knife


When out in the field, firefighters are constantly in need of knives. It might be useful for a simple task like cutting an apple, or a complex task like cutting through ropes to get access to something during a fire.

We feel a firefighter pocket knife needs to have a few important features. Of course, the first is the blade itself. We think the blade should have both a serrated and straight edge section. The straight edge section should be toward the front of the knife for ‘push’ cutting, such as piercing a bottle. The serrated edge section should be toward the back of the knife for ‘pull’ cutting, such as sawing through wood.

Another pair of features that we feel the knife should have is the two car rescue tools. These are the window breaker – which is usually a blunt end of the handle that is designed to shatter windows. The other one is a seat belt cutter which is usually also built into the handle. This knife listed above has all those features which is why we personally like it. 

Another cool feature of the above knife is that it comes with a great sheath that an be threaded onto a belt so the knife always has somewhere to live.

And lastly, this knife (and did I mention it also comes with a flashlight?) comes engraved with the name of the person you’re getting it for – which adds a fantastic personal touch to this firefighter gift.

3. Flashlight


We’ve reviewed a lot of firefighting flashlights here at Firefighter Garage. There are three main types of flashlights for firefighters: hand-held, right-angle, and helmet flashlights. The one above is a nice helmet mounted flashlight that could be a great little tool for a firefighter to have a play with.

Hand-held flashlights are those really big ones that – you guessed it – they hold in their hands. They’re usually the most powerful, but they’re also not the best because they take up a hand that could be used for other things – like actually fighting a fire.

Right-angle flashlights are often worn on a turnout coat so the user can operate them hands-free. They’re our favorite type because they’re both powerful and non-intrusive. You can also usually un-clip them with ease and use them as hand-held lights.

But we think the best one for giving as a gift would be the helmet mounted flashlight. One reason is simply that many fire departments provide hand-held and right-angle lights, while helmet flashlights are a nice extra that firefighters often buy out of their own pocket.

4. Gloves


Firefighter gloves often need to be NFPA compliant. This means that any old pair of ‘heat resistant’ gloves won’t work. In fact, many gloves that are sold as firefighter gloves are often not even NFPA compliant. So we take a look around and make sure we get a decent pair.

This pair here are decent in our opinion. We like that they have durable cowhide leather and a simple tab at the bottom for hanging and/or pulling the gloves on with ease. There’s a little reinforcing around the fingers, but it would have been nice to have seen additional reinforcing on the knuckles. Firefighters tend to ‘lead with the knuckles’ when holding hoses, etc. so knuckle reinforcement is something we like to see.

You can check out our review of five different firefighter gloves here.

5. Thin Red Line Hoodie


The ‘thin red line’ is a term that’s dear to firefighters and their families. It’s symbolic of the small group of men and women who stand between the people and danger. It shows how firefighters are the only thing between many of us and mortal danger. Firefighters ‘hold the line’ and protect us all.

Visually, the thin red line is now usually represented by a US flag with a red line through the middle. This symbol mixed patriotism and civic duty, and is worn as a symbol of pride in the goof work firefighters do for their communities.

This hoodie is a great comfortable piece of clothing firefighters can wear both while in the station and on their days off. Not only does it have the thin red line logo emblazoned on it, but it also has plenty of secure pockets for storing gear. 

6. Cufflinks


Take a step up to a super classy gift. These cufflinks might not be worn all the time, but they’re a great classy item to pull out whenever you’re going to a formal event. Fire departments often hold annual dinners, receptions and formal celebrations. Firefighters also often have to meet with local dignitaries and politicians to represent their crew and show their presence as leaders in the community. On these occasions, a pair of themed cufflinks are an excellent addition.

These cufflinks have a non-branded fire department insignia overlayed onto the Maltese Cross – the cross of firefighters recognized the world over.

7. Thank you Care Package / Gift Box


This is the perfect thank you gift to firefighters. It’s not uncommon for firefighters to receive cookies or brownies as a gift delivered to their station. And believe me – the cookies don’t last long! It can be a thank you gift from someone who called the truck out to their property, or even a teacher who asked the crew to come and give a demonstration at their school.

Another ‘excuse’ to give a firefighter a gift is International Firefighters’ Day in May each year.

There are tons of cookie boxes and care packages online you could choose from. Just do a quick Amazon search.

The other option is to bake your own cookies! This might be a more personalized way to say thank you.

8. Fireman Playing Set


This playing set contains two decks of cards and five dice. But the thing that makes these an amazing gift is the way it’s all packaged. It all fits nearly into a purpose-made wooden box that closes with a simple clasp. The box and cards all have firefighter insignia emblazoned on them. All the cards have the thin red line flag as their backdrop, but each card has a different image overlayed over the flag. Some include the firefighter cross, while others have other insignia. The Maltese cross is also emblazoned on the top of the box with the terms ‘fire rescue’, ‘honor’ and ‘courage’ written around the cross.

We’d encourage you to check out the imagery on the Amazon product page to get a better understanding of the emblems emblazoned on the boxes.

9. Maltese Cross Spatula


This spatula would be a hit at the next firefighter cookout or barbecue. It’s a regular cooking spatula, but has the Maltese cross firefighter insignia on it as well as the term ‘fire & rescue’ written along the handle. It’s also got a great little bottle opener on the end of it for some added value.

This isn’t the fanciest gift, but it’d be great for a guy who loves to grill. You might want to pair this gift up with some other cooking utensils or another firefighter themed gift.

10. Maltese Cross Decanter


This decanter is the perfect classy gift for a special celebration. The first one that comes to mind is of course retirement! During retirement, your ex-firefighter will have plenty of time to entertain – and show off his whiskey in this awesome themed decanter.

I kinda wish I had this.

It’d be great for a whisky, scotch, or bourbon lover. They can keep it on a shelf in their office or their liquor cabinet in the living room.

The decanter has the Maltese cross engraved on the hand-blown glass, which you can turn to face outward to create a great neat presentation effect.

11. Firefighter Coin Bank


To be honest this one wasn’t our idea. Chris’s uncle had it in his house and said he got it as a retirement gift! So, we thought it was worth adding to the list. This helmet is really nicely painted to give it a textured, well-used look. It’s got a rubber bottom that’s easy to open to remove your cash – but the point isn’t to remove the cash just yet! The point is to save up until it’s full.

A classy additional thing you might want to do is throw a good handful of quarters into it to get them started on their way to saving. They’ll be able to shake it when they get it and know for sure that you went that little extra step for them. (Don’t put notes in there – it’d defeat the purpose). 

12. Portable Fire Pit


Let’s face it – many firefighters love a good fire … you know, so long as it’s well-contained.

We’re huge fans of this fire pit that’s designed to be deconstructed and constructed with ease. So, you can take your fire with you to the next cookout or camping trip.

The nice thing about the Fireside Outdoor range of fire pits is that they are both really durable and super lightweight. You can pull it out of its packaging and construct it in less than 60 seconds, and just as quickly deconstruct it and put it back into its bag to be carried out and placed in the trunk of your car.

Keep in mind that you can’t add fire accelerants such as gasoline or firestarters to a pop-up fire pit as it will cause damage to the pit. Stick to wood and paper only.

13. Whisky High Ball Glasses


Here’s another classy gift for any firefighter who you know loves a good tipple of whisky or Bourbon. In fact, mixing these whisky high ball glasses with the decanter listed above would make for a really nice classy gift.

These high ball glasses have insignia on both the front and back. The front has your usual Maltese cross firefighter insignia on it, while the back reads: “Off Duty: Save Yourself”.

14. Thin Red Line Flag


We got this idea from a friend who has this flag up on her wall in her home gym. We can’t overstate just how many of our firefighter friends take pride in the ‘thin red line’ logo, which is a symbol of the courage and honor of firefighters. It signifies a belief in a higher purpose and pride in the fact that you’re the last line of defense while serving your community day in day out. The line shows a firefighter is putting their life on the line for their fellow citizens day-in day-out.

We’ve also seen the flag hung in the cabin of firefighers’ trucks and in the mess room of fire stations. So, it’s a nice versatile flag and the person you’re getting it for can make up their own mind about where they’d want to proudly fly it.

15. Real Heroes Firefighter for PlayStation 4


Here’s one for younger firefighters. Although, if there’s a PS4 in the station, I’m sure this game would go down a hit for the whole crew. The game is a first-person view firefighting game where you have to run into structural fires to save people. Spot fires jump out in your way, and you need to put them out as you go. It’s a bit of fun and a good time. You work your way through the levels improving your avatar’s skills at fighting fires and coming across harder and harder challenges as you go.

If they don’t have a PS4, this game is also available for Wii and Nintendo Switch.

16. Particulate Hood


Here’s a bonus one: a particulate hood! A particulate hood is a balaclava style hood worn under the helmet to protect a firefighter from flash flames. The particulate qualities help keep out some carcinogenic particulates that are commonly found in smoky environments. Not all hoods have a particulate protective layer, so look out for one that’s both fire resistant and ‘particulate’, but of course it’s also important to make sure it’s compliant to the rules and regulations of the fire department about the undergarments they are allowed to / suggested to wear.

Final Thoughts

Alright that’s it – 15 gifts we think would be great for a firefighter. We hope as you scrolled through you got an idea that caught your eye and inspired you. Obviously gift buying is a personal thing, so make sure you select the gift that’ll pair up perfectly to the personality of the gift receiver.

This article has shared our opinions for our circumstances only, and is based on our online research and does not constitute advice, professional or otherwise. Your circumstances or experiences will differ from ours. Make sure you do your own research and due diligence and adhere to the rules laid out in our terms and conditions and disclaimer.

Good luck and all the best!

– Chris.