An Introduction to First Responder Chaplaincy
No one is confronted with more situations that create emotional, mental, and spiritual burdens than today’s law enforcement officers, emergency medical, and firefighter personnel. These burdens also affect the officers’, medics’, firefighters’ families and other members of their department.
A law enforcement / fire chaplain is a clergyperson with special interest and training for providing pastoral care in the high powered and dangerous world of the first responders. This pastoral care is offered to all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, or religion. It is offered without cost or the taint of proselytizing.
The fire / law enforcement chaplain is led in his or her own faith to be available and ready to serve those in need. The chaplain's ministry provides a source of strength to the medical /fire/ law enforcement personnel and their families, other department members, the community.
The medic, firefighter or law enforcement officer may have a clergyperson or religious advisor in private life, although trained in ministry, is not necessarily abreast of the particular problems and dangers faced by firefighters, officers and medics in the field.
Chaplains listen and participate in the workplace of law enforcement officers and firefighters and medics with empathy and experience, advising calmly in the midst of turmoil and danger, as well as offering assistance when appropriate or requested.
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What We Do...
Fire Department and Law Enforcement chaplains do some or all of the following:
Counsel Law enforcement officers’, emergency medical, and firefighter personnel
Counsel other members of departments if requested
Counsel Law enforcement officers’, emergency medical and firefighters’ families
Visit sick or injured personnel in homes and hospitals
Give or assist in death notifications
Teach personnel in the area of Stress Management
Serve as part of a department's Crisis Response Team
Serve as liaison with other clergy in the community
Perform funerals, memorials, and weddings
Furnish responses to spiritual questions
Offer invocations at special occasions; such as recruit graduations, awards ceremonies, and building dedications
Serve on review boards, award boards, and other committees
Provide assistance to victims and their families of our community in the event of crisis; such as fire, suicide, auto or plane accident, earthquake, or times of serious illness, injury, death or significant trauma.
Counsel correction facility personnel
Minister to the incarcerated