“Rescue Squad”

by Chaplain Skip Straus
Emergency Ministries

I believe that only two groups of people can really understand what a Rescue Squad does – those who serve on a squad and those they save.

“‘…for I am with you to rescue and save you.’ declares the LORD.”
– Jeremiah 15:20(b) (NIV)

I believe that only two groups of people can really understand what a Rescue Squad does – those who serve on a squad and those they save. Continue reading ““Rescue Squad””

Faith and Fire

by Jacquetta Gomes

Faith and Fire is an independent partnership in the United Kingdom between some Fire and Rescue Services (FRS), and faith communities to develop mutual respect. It also increases the awareness of faiths to FRS staff and volunteers.

Faith and Fire has a website which offers a resource for FRSs by offering information on topics including Chaplaincy, faiths, interfaith, death and dying, mindfulness, PTSD and trauma. Faith and Fire welcomes relevant submissions to the website.

Faith Leaders and some UK Fire and Rescue Services are currently represented on the Faith and Fire Steering Group.

The World Congress of Faiths supports Faith and Fire and is represented on the Steering Group. Jacquetta Gomes spoke on “Faith and Fire – Partnership: Fire Officers and Faith Communities” at the Religious Freedom Responsibility for Planet and People conference, 20-23 August 2013 in Horsham, West Sussex, England UK hosted by the International Association for Religious Freedom, the World Congress of Faiths and the Horsham Interfaith Forum. The Conference book, which includes her talk: Religious Freedom and Responsibility For Planet and People, IARF International Association for Religious Freedom, 2013. (ISBN 978-0-9538172-2-1).

Faith and Fire was started in 2013 by Fire Officer Daryl Oprey [the then CFOA Chief Fire Officers Association Lead on Equality and Inclusion] and Jacquetta Gomes [his then Advisor on Interfaith and Multifaith]. Faith and Fire developed from work they undertook in 2012 with BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada), Ketumati Buddhist Vihara Manchester, and the MBC Manchester Buddhist Convention.

In 2012 Fire Officer Daryl Oprey stated “With respect to the Fire Service involvement it is around us being a more inclusive, aware and conspicuous service not just about dealing with tragedy but preventing it. We treat everyone as members of society and appreciate that our service delivery needs to be shown as being adaptable and considerate of all faiths and cultures. It is not enough to believe that ‘one size fits all’.”

Buddhist and Multifaith Fire Chaplaincy
Information on Buddhist and Multifaith Fire Chaplaincy is available on the Faith and Fire website:

Fire Chaplaincy in the United Kingdom

by Nick Rutter
UK Fire & Rescue Service Chaplains’ Association of the United Kingdom and Islands (FRSCA)

The UK Fire & Rescue Service Chaplains’ Association of the United Kingdom and Islands (FRSCA) has grown dramatically in the last three years; supporting and developing pastoral care for one of the UK’s front-line emergency services. Continue reading “Fire Chaplaincy in the United Kingdom”

“Going In”

by Skip Straus Emergency Ministries

GOD gives us the courage and strength to do what we do. And HE gives us a promise – that HE will be with us wherever we go!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Continue reading ““Going In””

From Blackjack to the Bible

by Chaplain Kim Ciftci Alexandria (VA) Police Department

I graduated from the Memphis Police Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, in August of 1974. I was 21 years old, and a student at the University of Memphis. Working the Graveyard Shift allowed me to attend classes during the daytime, and eventually I earned two degrees, a BS, in Education, and an MS, in Exercise Science. All that education was great, but it didn’t come close to the education I received, patrolling the streets and back alleys of Memphis. That was a degree of a different sort. The world I lived in at night was a totally different world from the one I lived in during the daytime. Gradually, and without any conscious awareness, I evolved into two different people to accommodate the two worlds. Eventually, those worlds collided, and I had to make a choice as to who would continue on, the regular guy, or the cop. The regular guy won out, but the cop never ceased to exist. He still exists today, but in a much different form. Looking back, I have to say that it seems to me, that I’ve come full circle. Being a Police Officer was a part of my training, my preparation if you will, for a higher calling. Continue reading “From Blackjack to the Bible”

Good Stuff

by Kevin Coffey
Chicago Fire Department Firefighter (retired)

OK, I’ve got this theory. It goes like this: The greatest concentration of pure unadulterated good in your town is at the fire station. Yes, I’m serious. Sure, I may have a bit of a skewed predisposition from being in the fire service for the past 34 years. But something happens in the heart of the man or woman who puts on the firefighter’s uniform. It may not be as outwardly dramatic as Superman’s phone booth transformation, but I believe it is nonetheless an invitation to an inner transformation from God (He’s just above Superman). Continue reading “Good Stuff”