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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

City Council Commissions Municipal Medal to Recognize ‘Deeds of Bravery’

The Providence City Council has commissioned a Providence-based artist to design a municipal medal to recognize public servants’ extraordinary acts of bravery. The medal is slated for production in late February 2017.

In October, the City Council approved an amendment to update the terms of the original municipal medal ordinance from 1915. The change was inspired by a team of firefighters who resuscitated a seven month old baby in August. “Since then, we’ve seen even more acts of heroism that deserve recognition,” said Council President Luis Aponte, who plans to award one of the first medals to Providence Fire Lt. Robert McCullough. In late December, McCullough was off-duty when he rescued a man from a burning building. The fire lieutenant was driving on Hawkins Street when he noticed flames and pulled over; without equipment, he entered the burning building and rescued a man trapped inside.

Olneyville artist Kiki Sciullo has been commissioned to create a new “seal of honor and heroism” and oversee production. “This is an exciting project and I'm thankful for the opportunity to develop a medal that honors and celebrates Providence’s bravest public servants,” said Sciullo. The design was inspired by historic Rhode Island seals and the 1638 land deed between Roger Williams and the Narragansett sachems, who signed with a bow and arrow symbol. Sciullo incorporated the symbol with an anchor to signify hope and strength. A laurel wreath serves as a nod to the medal’s original specifications and its hand-tooled style represents the period in which Providence was founded.

Sciullo is collaborating with Providence artists for production, including jeweler Heather Guidero and woodworkers Laura and Gordon Moss of Functional Aesthetic Design Build. Once complete, the medals will be 2.5 inches in diameter and presented to recipients in sustainable maple boxes designed to reflect the history of American craftsmanship and the colonial period.