The nature of the firefighter's profession is stressful and crisis-oriented. Personally, firefighters need the spiritual and emotional stability of a chaplain. The aftermath of every fire call is anger, frustration, and remorse that more couldn't be done. Chaplains bring the healing Presence of Jesus Christ to ease the emotional uptightness that is a part of the firefighter's life. On the job, the department needs a person of poise and authority to assist in public relations and crowd control, helping to bring order to chaos.
"A caring chaplain is a ready chaplain." Chaplains must be on call 24 hours a day. Ministry in the fire department is in two areas: to the firefighters and their families; and to the community.
Ministry to the Firefighter: The chaplain must have a pastoral relationship with each firefighter. The chaplain will provide spiritual guidance and be present for weddings, baptisms, and births, and will conduct memorial services for fallen firefighters. At a "situation," the chaplain will be alert to people who need first aid, meet firefighters at the hospital, notify families, relay accurate reports from doctors to family members, and offer comfort.
Ministry to the Community: The chaplain is responsible to establish order, to avoid panic, and to keep distraught citizens from interfering with firefighters. He or she extends comfort to victims and the bereaved and offers assistance: contacting family members, assisting in obtaining emergency aid, and filling out necessary paperwork. The chaplain will occasionally be called on to officiate at official functions.
For ecclesiastical endorsement or registration, the fire chaplain must be a minister in good standing in the Church of the Nazarene. Once endorsed or registered, the chaplain is responsible to find a fire chief willing to initiate a chaplaincy program. He or she must establish personal relationships with firefighters and their families, must know hospital personnel and procedures, as well as where and how to get needed information, and must have an open telephone line.
For further information call us at 1-800-233-8962.