Firefighting

Fire Chaplains Integral Part of Response Team

Issue 8 and Volume 162.

BY CRAIG A. HAIGH AND REVEREND JENNIE SWANSON The fire service is good at many things. When people dial 911, we respond rapidly, employ expert tactics that extinguish fires, rescue trapped occupants, and salvage personal belongings. We provide emergency medical care and, in some cases, ambulance transport for victims who are critically ill and injured. We assess and mitigate spilled and leaking hazardous materials and perform carefully planned and executed rescues of those requiring technical expertise. We are not good, though, at providing emotional and spiritual care to the family and friends of those affected. Consider this scenario: A couple, married 60-plus years, begins the morning routine. He sits in his normal spot at the kitchen table, scanning the newspaper and sipping his morning coffee. She glides around the kitchen, lovingly preparing their breakfast and looking forward to spending time working the crossword puzzle while listening to him muse about…

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