AND FIRE DEPARTMENT MINISTRY AND CHAPLAINCY
people call on the local fire department for help. The calls
range from simple brush fires, to auto accidents with entrapment,
to structure fires with children inside. The
victims include the very young to the very old. The dangers
the firefighter faces could bring about the loss of his own
life. Seeing death and physical injuries often produce feelings
of guilt or helplessness. This stress is reflected in the firefighter's
family life and job performance. In this setting, the need for
a chaplain is evident.
administration, firefighters, paramedics, support staff, victims
and victim's families daily experience crises in one way or another.
A volunteer chaplain Can help them handle the crises.
steps for beginning a fire chaplaincy are as follows:
Schedule a meeting with the fire chief.
Determine what needs are not presently being met.
Share programs and services with the chief which the chaplain
Recruit and train chaplains and volunteers for the program outlined.
Set a starting time for the chaplaincy program to start.
Implement the chaplaincy program.
Re-evaluate the program needs at least every six months.
SITUATIONS: The chaplain responds to all major fire calls
to aid the fire personnel and to help with panic situations involving
civilians. He assists the victims of the tragedy in receiving
aid from community help organizations. He informs the chief of
those who have over extended themselves.
NOTIFICATION: The chaplain assists in the notification of
families when firefighters receive serious injury or die in the
line of duty. The chaplain visits fire personnel and family members
SERVICES: The chaplain provides guidance and counseling for
fire personnel with personal, family and job related problems.
The chaplain is available to all fire personnel. Any contact with
the chaplain is strictly on a confidential basis and will not be
released to department members or any other person. A firefighter
may go to the chaplain without having to notify his or her supervisor.
The chaplain will conduct weddings, religious activities, and funeral/memorial
services. He attends graduations, award ceremonies, and social events
and participates when requested. He should represent the chief of
the department when asked. The chaplain also acts as a liaison between
the department and the religious leaders in the community.
SERVICES: The chaplain will conduct worship services, Bible
studies or support groups as needed.
FOR THE CHAPLAIN: The chaplain should understand how a crew
attacks a fire and why it's done in a certain way. He or she should
know something about what paramedics do when working on a victim.
Knowledge of stress, stress relief, and critical incident stress
debriefing is necessary. The chaplain would also understand how
his religious faith fits into his work and the firefighter's work.
THE CHAPLAIN FITS INTO THE DEPARTMENT: The chaplain usually
answers to the fire chief. Turnout gear is issued to the chaplain
which allows him near the scene when necessary. Badges and other
identification allow access through security lines. A pager and/or
radio are needed to notify the chaplain when needed. Permission
to ride with the crews and visit the firefighters at the stations
helps the chaplain understand the firefighter's job better. Being
with the crews allows the chaplain the opportunity to build relationships
with the fire personnel.
ministry of a fire chaplain is rewarding. Helping those who help
others is challenging and fulfilling. The fire chaplain builds
bridges of friendship between firefighters, their families, and
the community. He shares the love of God in many situations, brings
hope in times of despair, "to give them beauty for ashes"
Fellowship Ministries International Inc. is a faith based
centered Public Charity, legally Incorporated with Chaplains,Pastors,
Priest and Ministers working worldwide. Chaplain Fellowship
Ministries International inc. © All rights reserved.