Count Ödön Széchenyi laid the foundations for organized fire departments in Hungary, with the recruitment of the first volunteers, the creation of professional associations, and finally the nation-wide collaboration of different associations across the country. As a result of his efforts, the Hungarian Firefighters’ Federation, the legal predecessor of today’s Hungarian Firefighter Association, was established in 1870. In Hungary, Firefighter's Day has been officially celebrated annually on May 4 since 1991 in commemoration of St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters.
In consideration of this anniversary the MNB (Central Bank of Hungary) is releasing a silver commemorative coin with a face value of 10,000 forints, a copper-nickel coin of 2,000 forints, and a 50 forint circulating commemorative coin, all entitled “150 Years of Organized Fire Departments in Hungary.”
The obverse of the 10,000 forint coin has a decorated helmet above two crossed fire axes, with an arch-shaped inscription of the fire department motto From a Glorious Past to a Worthy Future. Saint Florian is on the reverse standing in the uniform of a Roman officer holding a flag in one hand and a bucket of water in the other, with which he is extinguishing a small house on fire. The legend reads “150 Years of Organized Fire Departments in Hungary” with his name below. Saint Florian was a Christian martyr and is the patron saint of firefighters. The cult of Saint Florian became popular in Central Europe in the late Middle Ages. According to legend, he saved a house from complete destruction by a dreadful fire when he was a child.
The .925 silver 10,000 forint is in proof quality and limited to 5,000 coins. It weighs 31.46 grams and is 38.61 mm (1½ inches) in diameter.