Tones and bells, sirens and radios, scrambling boots and the shout of commands; every moment in the Fire Service is spent in readiness. Personal needs and concerns are pushed aside in response to the needs on hand. Whether routine or extraordinary, crises are met head on by each responder, often taxing their physical, mental, and emotional limits.
Back at the firehouse, equipment is put back in service, supplies restocked, and personal gear hung up in preparation for the next call that may occur even before boots can be put on the rack.
The Chaplain’s call is to serve those who serve, encouraging, listening, supporting, and facilitating access to additional services from the State Critical Incident Stress Management Team, Employee Assistance Program, or other resources. The focus is on keeping each Fire Service member in full readiness. With that objective met, the Chaplain extends the same care to the civilians involved in the incident at hand, becoming a liaison between the Fire Department Command staff and the civilians.
Filling this Volunteer Chaplain’s role since 1997 has been a wonderful privilege and a learning experience. The citizens of Hooksett have reason to be very proud of the men and women of Hooksett Fire/Rescue who serve as a model department in this state.