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!