Thread: Religious Experience
01-10-2000, 12:36 PM #1ugleeFirehouse.com Guest
Hi, I'm new to this forum. Am interested in hearing from anyone who 's had a "religious experience" as a result of an experience in emergency services. It doesn't matter what faith you come from. I'm interested in all info for research purposes. Has your faith been strengthened, changed, or challenged by something you've seen or been involved in in the fire and EMS field? Please share it. Thanks.
01-10-2000, 11:34 PM #2DianeFirehouse.com Guest
I've had the opposite. I went to church or Sunday School every Sunday (most summer Sundays, too) to the point where I had perfect attendence in my Sunday School class!! I joined the Junior Fire Co. the wedding). Ironically, I don't go to the fall of '90 (was a Junior in HS) and went to church every other Sunday or when we didn't have drills. Flash forward almost 10 years and in '99 I went to church 2 times (not including a couple of family baptisms and a wedding). You all can probably guess which two times, too. My "faith" has been challenged as I don't "believe" a lot of the things I was told as a child. But, I think that also has a lot to do with the way my life has turned out thus-far and I won't get into that. Hope this helps in your research.
01-12-2000, 09:50 AM #3Captain Matt MillerFirehouse.com Guest
in response to your question. my faith has been challenged very much so. How could God let five very young children die in a fire two weeks ago? I know that everyone has a time to go but not that youg.Those kids did not do a thing but yet they had to die for no reason.what about all the people on death row take them all and leave the kids alone
Captain Matt Miller
Brooklyn Fire Protection District
01-12-2000, 11:48 PM #4JAY FROM OHIOFirehouse.com Guest
Capt. I can empathize with you. Our fire department responded on an auto accident. Upon arrival the crew discovered a car cut in half. The driver of the medic was the boyfriend of the driver. His young son was killed instantly and his wife was critically hurt. (She has recovered now.) I was fortunate not to be on that run but my husband as well as the boy's uncle were on the scene. It questions like you posed that really challange our religious beliefs. I am a Baptist and attend church in spurts. I beleive nothing happens by accident. We are all here constantly impacting one anothers lives whether it be consciously or inadvertantly. I believe that God has a master plan. Our grief helps us to appreciate what we have. The tragic death of the firefighters in Worchester has made me stop and think about my own choice to be a firefighter. I am married to a firefighter and I often worry what would happen to our 2 boys if we were killed. I know that there is nothing I can do about. I believe when it is your time, you're going whether you're in a fire or laying home asleep. I have learned not to anything for granted. I do pray when I am confused or when I feel threatened. That works well for me.
Doing what we do should provide us with a spring board for improving ourselves and our relationship with God. Firefighters are not immortal. We have no guarentee of tommorrow or the next five minutes.
Take care and God bless.
01-17-2000, 04:25 PM #5nsfirechapFirehouse.com Guest
One of the things I appreciate about these forums is we can feel safe to ask the "TOUGH" questions and then to reply .
As for me, yes I have had numerous spiritual experiences on the job. A few stand out...One being in 1988 while an Air Force firefighter at Eglin Air force Base Florida I was sent to a two acre fast moving brush fire. In an atempt to be overaggressive I got into a situation where I was surrounded by fire and had flames all around me. At the time I was not a very religious or spiritual person but I did the only thing I knew how to do - pray! As soon as I ended my prayes I waited for death, but the winds died down & I ran from the spot I was in only to look over my shoulder and see where I was previously standing explode in a wall of fire. Hesitation on my part would have been certain death. This is just one of the many times I know God had His hand on me.
As for the really tough questions I do not know why God allows things to happen such as Worcester or fatalities to children. I try not to question.
A lot has happened to me in the last few years and I know find myself serving a serving as a Fire Department Chaplain. Trust me, we "ALL" at times struggle with questions of faith - God knows I do at times. But for me I have found what works - FAITH, yes it's blind faith at times but it helps me. Prayer also helps me a lot.
Yes we deal with a lot of tradgedy, but in addition to the tradegies are countless blessings.
Blessings to you all,
Chaplain Jeff Turkel
North Star VFD
North Pole, Alaska
01-18-2000, 09:37 AM #6LieutE2Firehouse.com Guest
For everytime we question our faith, their are 5 times we should appreciate our faith. There have been times when you have to blindly go on faith. These are the time when our training and experience kick in and we act without thinking. But, I feel there is a higher action being called into play here. How much is training, and how much is God's protective hand on our SCBA, showing us the way?
I can recall several times, as a 22 year veteran of the fire service, many a time when I looked back at a situation and thought, how did We ever get out of there? You MUST put yourself into the hands of our Protector and Brothers and Sisters.
Children, I know, are extremely difficult. Only God knows what He had in store for them. Maybe He was saving them from a long live of hurt. God Bless us all and our Families
Lt. Steve Miller Baltimore County Fire Department
01-19-2000, 10:54 PM #7HarrisonJRFirehouse.com Guest
This is a good question. I find that my faith has been strengthed by what I have seen in the fire and ems service. One of my first calls as a rookie was a fatal MVA and the hard part was that it was a young person. You can ask the question of why could God allow somebody young to die and only he knows the reason for that but it reminded me that I better have my life straight and everything with God set right because you never know when it could be your time. My faith is also strengthed and I consider myself blessed that God gave me this ability and love for fire and ems that I am able to help people. Just my 2 cents worth.
01-20-2000, 03:27 AM #8The Snake ManFirehouse.com Guest
I once heard a saying from a famous Christian firefighter in Wauchula Fl. by the name of Jim E. Davis. He said "Have you ever noticed that there are no athiest in structure fires". I believe that God has a master plan, and the deaths that seem cruel to us are sometimes God removing his children from life that might be cruel to them in the future. God takes care of those that he choosed to bring to his pad in the sky.
Two weeks ago we got dispatched to a head on collision. I arrived on scene to find one of my friends from church DOA. It was tough for me but God had a master plan for her life and through her death it makes me appreciate life and my loved ones. I wouldn't enter a building with out him. Ya know its like that old credit card commercial, "Don't leave home without him"
Stay true to your faith. Someday God will let you in on all his little secrets and you will probly end up going OOOOHHhhhhhhhh! I get it!
The Snake Man
01-21-2000, 05:06 PM #9ScooterFirehouse.com Guest
How do I answer this one. July 4, 1992 my partner Bill and I responded to an unconscious patient at a church. Beside being a holiday, it was Sunday around 8 am. Enroute I re-read the printout to gather any info we might have missed, then looked up to find the wheels of a dump truck coming over the hood of the unit. Bill wasn't seriously injured, neither was our third, but they had to pry me out of the mess. I went through two surgeries just to be able to walk and countless hours of PT. Still can't run very well or enjoy many of the little things, like dancing with my wife, we all take for granted till there gone! But, I am alive and I can still do the job with the help of lot's of med's. Bill and I continued to work off and on together for several years and never really talked about our brush with death. Firefighters have this unspoken code that we just don't talk about our own mortal limitations. One night we transferred to fill another station and during the ride he asked how I was feeling, cause my ankle can be pretty painful. We then started talking about that accident, and he felt that "the man upstairs just wasn't ready for you yet, he still has work for you here". I had to accept that as being the best explanation.
Just two years ago, I took over as Chief of our volunteer company and low and behold Bill transferred into the company. This past March, Bill came to me in the office to request he be removed from riding, and I was puzzled. He had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. We vowed to fight it together.
Two weeks ago I had to organize his funeral and give his euology. Bill and I were never the best of friends. We were just fire fighters trying to do some good for others in need. I can't help hoping that the man upstairs has need of a good firefighter/paramedic. Challenge, life is a challenge. Faith is the rock that keeps me sane!
01-24-2000, 01:56 AM #10BigJohnFirehouse.com Guest
I can't speak for all of us, as I haven't had that many experiences concerning children and all... But I would like to add that if you truly believe God is the creator of all things, then you also believe that God is in control of all things. Everything God does is for a reason. Some things he does (or allows to happen) affects millions of peoples' lives (i.e. Worcester, MA). Other things affect only one or two. Nothing that happens goes unnoticed. No tragedy should ever be questioned of "How could God let this happen" because if it were not for Him and his will, then where would we be? Would we 'be' at all?
Sometimes people "accidentally" get pregnant. Should we tell that child, when 20 years later, they become a life-saving firefighter, that they shouldn't have existed? That God shouldn't have let them be born?
Things happen, and the reasons aren't always evident immediately. Don't blame God for something bad happening. Let things like that help you grow stronger. Have faith and let your faith grow by seeking how such a tragedy could possibly turn into a blessing later on.
Perry Twp. VFD
Lawrence Co., OH
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