I've only been a Fire Service Chaplain for only a short time and would welcome suggestions and thoughts on ministering effectively ... I fill a dual role with the country fire service as Rehab Services Officer ... would also be interested in information on Rehab Services.
[This message has been edited by Sunflower_FD_21 (edited February 26, 1999).]
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02-26-1999, 11:33 PM #1Sunflower_FD_21Firehouse.com Guest
The Role of a Fire Service Chaplain
02-27-1999, 04:42 PM #2nsfirechapFirehouse.com Guest
The one question I am constantly asking (and praying about) is how can I best serve the needs of my department members and community). One of my goals is to ensure that department members and community members know that I care and that I am there not to represent my denomination, but to show them love, compassion, and care as I believe Jesus would.
02-27-1999, 09:31 PM #3ccc530Firehouse.com Guest
Just let your light shine. Be there for them. And most of all...Pray.
02-27-1999, 11:54 PM #4Sunflower_FD_21Firehouse.com Guest
I've found that when you are in turnout gear ... there isn't much denomination ... just firefighters with a common goal, shared burdens, and real needs.
I'm sure that to date, I've been blessed far more than I've been able to bless others. My life has been enriched by the fellowship and shared experiences.
I attend training opportunities with our firefighters, drag hose if needed, and make sure that I am there when the alarm goes out ... since we are a relatively small community I have a close relationship with our firefighters ... have known most of them for more than 18 years ... so we are close.
[This message has been edited by Sunflower_FD_21 (edited February 27, 1999).]
05-12-1999, 04:38 PM #5KarlFirehouse.com Guest
ccc530 hit the nail on the head with regard to the most important function of a Fire Chaplain! However, the opportunities to be of benefit to your department members and your community are only limited by your imagination and the needs of your department and community. For instance, one of the programs that the P.D.'s Victims Aid Liaision and I work together on is an overnight stay (Free of Charge) at a local hotel for crime victims, such as spousal abuse victims, and fire victims. It is intended to be a temporary fix until the victim's own support group takes over. Look for creative ways to minister!
05-13-1999, 03:05 PM #6RevMark98Firehouse.com Guest
Ya'll will pardon me if I make a very simple suggestion as to ministering in the firehouse. What would happen if, as the chaplain, you appeared on any given firefighters birthday with a card or cake?
It does alot for morale to have someone notice you are THERE outside of a life-threatening situation. And since most firefighters don't accept praise very easily..it's hard to turn down a birthday cake
Because HE lives I can face tomorrow
05-26-1999, 08:15 AM #7lfsFirehouse.com Guest
For very helpful info and contacts, join the Federation of Fire Chaplains [or ask your Company for the membership]. Contact by e-mail is ChapDir@aol.com
Website is at http://www.firefighting.com/chaplains/
The FFC holds an annual conference [sometimes combined with a few days of orientation for new chaplains]. The next one is planned for Oct 17-21, 1999 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I have attended several FFC conferences and found them to be terrific learning opportunities and great for making personal contacts. Funding sources I have used at various times have included:
- The IAFF local sponsored me.
- My church continuing education budget.
- The Fire Company's training budget.
- Personal funds [tax deductible because it is job related professional training].
05-26-1999, 08:26 AM #8lfsFirehouse.com Guest
On scene - I have found other firefighters really appreciative when I wade into the confusion [carefully!] around injured victims, like at a car wreck, to pray for and lay hands on the victim. I use rubber gloves and don't worry about the theological implications.
I am also called upon to help deal with victims & family members who become agitated or hysterical. Firefighters and Chiefs seem to think a Pastor can handle such folks better than they can.
Mixing with the members between runs offering friendship and availability is very important! So is getting to the hospital as quickly as possible [while the firefight is still under way] when a firefighter is injured. I'll wait with the injured FF, help get in touch with family members, pray with them if they want, or pray under my breathe if they do not want to praying openly.
06-12-1999, 11:25 PM #9Sunflower_FD_21Firehouse.com Guest
I've learned quite a bit since I posted the first message in this thread ...
The following is purpose statement currently being used by my department. It was gleaned from several sources, all of whom are appreciated. Would appreciate some feedback and welcome any suggestions.
The Fire Chaplain's primary focus is on the spiritual and crisis needs of the Department and whatever situations the firefighters may encounter where the Fire Chaplain may be of service to both the firefighters and the community.
The Fire Chaplain:
* Will be on call 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
* Will seek to know the firefighters and their functions.
* Will attend the regular meetings of the Department.
* Will participate in so far as is practical in all training exercises.
* Will seek to strengthen Department morale and offer encouragement.
* Will provide a pastoral presence as needed or as requested.
* Will assist at the fire scene as directed by Department officers.
* Will provide rehab services and as a trained First Responder be alert at the fire scene to men who may need first aid. And, assist in any way possible when department personnel are injured, ill, or deceased.
* Will extend comfort to fire victims.
* Will assist in getting emergency aid from the Red Cross or other agency.
* Will seek to explain to the victims what the firefighters are doing.
* Any communications a person makes to the Fire Chaplain is strictly on a confidential basis.
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