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Does your faith help you in your role as a fire fighter? If so, can you openly share that with others?

Let's take a minute to talk about your personal faith. Is it something that helps you in your day to day functions in the fire service? Does it encourage you or keep you going during difficult times? If so, is it something that you can openly or privately share with other co-workers? What are the best ways to share your faith? and what do you think is the best way to share/live your faith?

Let's get it started.

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Replies to This Discussion

Being a believer in Christ and what he has done for me has helped in a lot of ways. The biggest one I can think of comes from my first year as a firefighter. We responded to a 9 month old drowning, with CPR in progress, we worked the child for about 45 min but it seemed like forever. We got done with the call, after the child had passed away and the reality set in of what had happened, I went home and could not sleep that night. A day or so later I looked back on the call and realized that whatever we or the parents did the child was not going to make it, then I thought to myself everything was OK because that child would be in heaven. That helped me get Thur a lot of rough times I would have in the days to come.

Where as sharing with patents and there family's I find it very hard to do because I never want to offend them, or I just never think about until after the call is over.
Yes, my faith has helped. The first thing it has taught me is that I am here simply by the Grace of God, and by such it is a priviledge to have this job, as well as a great responsibility. To take it for granted or lightly would be frankly, sinful. Next and just as important it has let me see that no matter the socio-economic position, race or creed of the person I am called to assist, they are loved by the same God, in the exact same way as I am. Understanding that, I have no right to treat them with any less compassion than that which was shown me on the Cross. There are times when I fail to remember those first two points, but striving to remember and showing it in action then become more important.
The level of understanding that I have grown to in my Christianity also helps me in those times when the job is seemingly unfair to the most innocent. Whether it be careless, or ruthless our actions will have consequences. Sometimes innocent people pay the price for our actions. I know that God wants all men to live long prosperous lives. Life to the fullest. Which brings me to the next lesson learned, I do not save lives! Only Christ has that power. Sometimes God will use the talents, skills and abilities he has blessed me with to be the instrument of His power to save a life or to prolong it. I can only pray that in doing so it makes a positive difference in their eternity, but the salvation comes only through the Blood of Christ.
The fire service is a notoriously difficult place to be a Christian. Constant exposure to people who are often in their worst moment, stress, extreme danger, criticism from the public and media all take a toll. Staying focused on the Cross is not easy. We must be more than just brother firefighters, we must be there for each other as Christ's representatives on earth. We need to not only support our fellow Christian firefighters but we must also show all those around us that the God we serve is the only true, living, loving, and righteous God. The One who is concerned, intimately, with every aspect of their life. The One who desires them to share in His eternal kingdom. The only way we can truely show them who this God is, is by living out our faith, faithfully every day.
I encourage all who read this to find a good Christian mentor in your local/general fire service area. And then find someone to mentor. The rewards will be amazing.
Stay strong in Christ and safe on the fireground!
Joe
JJ, thanks for sharing. I can certainly relate to your experiences as well as your concerns about sharing with patients and their families. For years I often struggled with how to offer comfort to the families of victims. In some cases we were unable to because of the situation and in others I didn't feel led or I convinced myself not too. In either case I have been able to overcome that in a couple of ways.

First of all, depending on the situation, I will ask if there is someone that we could call for support, a family member, friend, priest or pastor. If they don't have one, we have developed a Chaplaincy as part of our Critical Incident Stress Team, who is available primarily for the fire fighters, but can be called to help out citizens.

The other is to let people know that you are truely sorry for thier loss or their struggles and ask them if they would mind if you prayed for them. I know you don't have to ask them if you can pray, but I believe that it plants a seed in their mind and in most cases they really appreciate the offer. I cannot say I have had anyone take offense to me asking if I can pray for them. If you feel it is appropriate you could pray for them there, otherwise pray for them on the way back to the station or at a time that is more convenient.

God is the only thing that gives me hope sometimes in this world, so keep him close to your heart.

In Christ,
Joe, that is great incite. I appreciate your boldness as we are called to be "bold as lions". I can tell in your response that you can truely appreciate the price that was paid for your transgressions and that you love the Lord passionately. To acknowledge our failures is important in our witness, but so is the strength to get up and stand for what we believe. To see people through God's loving eyes, truely conveys a heart of compassion. Also the importance of mentoring(or discipleship) both recieving and giving. Accountability in our walk and fellowship are both very important as the firehouse is not always an easy place for Christians to survive.

Thanks for being willing to share your heart and your faith and keep up the good work.


Joe Campbell said:
Yes, my faith has helped. The first thing it has taught me is that I am here simply by the Grace of God, and by such it is a priviledge to have this job, as well as a great responsibility. To take it for granted or lightly would be frankly, sinful. Next and just as important it has let me see that no matter the socio-economic position, race or creed of the person I am called to assist, they are loved by the same God, in the exact same way as I am. Understanding that, I have no right to treat them with any less compassion than that which was shown me on the Cross. There are times when I fail to remember those first two points, but striving to remember and showing it in action then become more important.
The level of understanding that I have grown to in my Christianity also helps me in those times when the job is seemingly unfair to the most innocent. Whether it be careless, or ruthless our actions will have consequences. Sometimes innocent people pay the price for our actions. I know that God wants all men to live long prosperous lives. Life to the fullest. Which brings me to the next lesson learned, I do not save lives! Only Christ has that power. Sometimes God will use the talents, skills and abilities he has blessed me with to be the instrument of His power to save a life or to prolong it. I can only pray that in doing so it makes a positive difference in their eternity, but the salvation comes only through the Blood of Christ.
The fire service is a notoriously difficult place to be a Christian. Constant exposure to people who are often in their worst moment, stress, extreme danger, criticism from the public and media all take a toll. Staying focused on the Cross is not easy. We must be more than just brother firefighters, we must be there for each other as Christ's representatives on earth. We need to not only support our fellow Christian firefighters but we must also show all those around us that the God we serve is the only true, living, loving, and righteous God. The One who is concerned, intimately, with every aspect of their life. The One who desires them to share in His eternal kingdom. The only way we can truely show them who this God is, is by living out our faith, faithfully every day.
I encourage all who read this to find a good Christian mentor in your local/general fire service area. And then find someone to mentor. The rewards will be amazing.
Stay strong in Christ and safe on the fireground!
Joe

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