Florian was a 3rd-century commander in the Roman army. He organized the army's firefighting brigade and personally trained an elite group of firefighters. When Roman leaders ordered Florian to offer sacrifice to the gods, he refused and was sentenced to be burned at the stake. Even then, Florian stood strong and brave. Tied to the stake, he challenged his executioners to light the fire. "Do it,” he declared, “I will climb to Heaven on the flames."