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Fire Department Chaplains for Federal Fire Service Agencies: Q and A

Fire department chaplains are quite common within municipal departments but are not often seen within Federal/ Department of Defense (DOD) fire departments. Chaplain’s can provide a limitless range of support and encouragement to Fire and Emergency Services teams and their families. The emotional and spiritual support provided by chaplains can contribute significantly to team and an individual’s resiliency. They can be imbedded within peer support and crisis intervention teams as additional subject matter experts. They assist teams dealing with stress and grief for both personal and fire service-related situations. Chaplains provide positive impact to enhance departmental ceremonies as well as memorial services. They support fire service leadership in visiting agency members at home and hospitals after injuries, long term illness, or other personal matters. Chaplains lead educational and community outreach programs to foster positive working relationships. Much like peer support services, Chaplains maintain strict confidentiality and provide an avenue for firefighters and EMS providers to discuss challenges with persons of trust. With all the benefits its hard to believe that they are sparsely utilized for federal fire departments.

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