First responders are placed in so many challenging situations that impact their faith. The National Center for Chaplain Development, a nonprofit organization, provides support and emotional assistance.
“I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, so that they may live with me; whoever walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.” —Psalm 101:6
Ken Schlenker, founder of the center, explains, “What we are trying to do is equip people to come alongside our first-responder community. They are our modern day warriors, the heroes of today. We are trying to be first responders to the first responders.”
Larry Grihalva with the California State Firefighters Association said, “I wish I had this 20 years ago. How do you tell someone their loved one has died? It’s a very difficult thing and we’re not really trained what to say and what not to say. That not only helps us in our patient care, but it makes ourselves healthy when we go home to our families, so we don’t take the stress home with us.”
“Other people don’t understand what we go through. So, I thought if I have something to offer, I need to use that to help the others, and that was really my motivation,” stated Tricia Higgins of the Chino Valley Fire District.
Ken Schlenker added, “We need to get in the situation as soon as we possibly can, as close to the scene as happens, with brief and simple interventions that can provide hope to the person, to give them the ability to decompress.”
Receiving spiritual help, as well as giving it when needed, is an important part of service. Stay open to both, so you can continue to grow and to give.
LORD GOD, as You pour into me, I can pour out to others. Help me to constantly look to You and to those who spiritually support me, as I also look for places to help others.