The Chaplain of the Fire and EMS is one of the most vital positions that a department can have. The Chaplain’s role is to have the pulse of the department and its personnel. As the world becomes more complex, facing the problems of life becomes dramatically more difficult. The pressures of living in a complicated world affect us all. Many become emotionally and spiritually crippled when they find that what used to work, is no longer effective in coping with life’s pressures. People under stress tend to look to public agencies for answers and services to solve their problems. Public servants, such as Fire and EMS personnel, are confronted with the results of pressures and life‑threatening situations every day. The public sees them as the “perfect” person who can do almost anything. They are expected to solve problems, make the complex simple, and perform emergency responses without experiencing any emotional turmoil in the process. The truth is, that emergency service personnel do sustain a tremendous amount of stress because of what they do ‑ more so than any other profession.
Enter the Chaplain. The role of the Chaplain is to be the “balancer”. The Chaplaincy program is established to provide support to the Police, Fire and First Aid Departments in a very specific way. The main object of this support is to provide spiritual and emotional guidance for personnel and their families. The presence of the Chaplain, especially at the scene, is to create a sense of calm ‑ to balance the stress level. His role is to be aware of what is going on and to look for signs of physical and emotional stress of personnel and victims and to provide appropriate assistance and advice, comfort, counsel and referrals to all present.