First-Responder Chaplaincy, Part 6 (Ordained Chaplains: Work of the Chaplain #55)


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is Philippians 2:15 which says, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Alexandre Vinet. He said, “The place of charity, like that of God, is everywhere.”

In this podcast, we are going through the fine book: “The Work of the Chaplain” by Naomi K. Paget and Janet R. McCormack.

Our topic today is: First-Responder Chaplaincy (Part 6)

— Fire Department Chaplains

Fire department chaplains may serve volunteer departments in small towns or unincorporated areas. Alternatively they may serve large metropolitan departments with multiple divisions, including emergency medical services, fire prevention, and fire suppression, which can then be broken down in to districts, stations, and companies. Fire chaplains may serve a particular group of firefighters or staff personnel at any one of these multiple layers.

— Specific Duties

Duties of the fire chaplain are very similar to those of the law enforcement chaplain. Chaplains provide direct ministry to firefighters, departmental personnel, and family members of those individuals. They may provide counseling or visit the sick or injured, in the home or in hospitals and rehabilitation centers. They provide for spiritual needs through availability, presence, and listening, and they may even coordinate or officiate at family celebrations such as weddings or baptisms. They respond to alarms, drills, meetings, and socials. Fundamentally, their duty to the team is to be a part of the team.

There were no words that seemed appropriate when the reports of death were received at stations all across the United States. Brothers and sisters had fallen in one of the worst tragedies firefighters had ever known. Manhattan was far away, but in the greater family of firefighters, tragedy had impacted all. Fire chaplains reported to their stations because they knew that their fire families would be in distress. As prayers were lifted up, the chaplain honored those who had responded to “The Final Alarm.”

Fire chaplains serve the department by serving as a resource to the chief on various topics about religion and ethics; acting as a liaison to the community, churches, and local clergy; offering ceremonial ministry at graduations, award ceremonies, and meal events; making death and serious injury notifications; being a part of the interdisciplinary crisis intervention team; assisting as requested at accident scenes and fires; and teaching seminars and courses on such topics as stress and conflict management, life issues, ethics, and substance abuse.

Fire chaplains also provide direct assistance to victims at accident scenes, offering crisis counseling and prayers as appropriate. They may be the first to assist a victim during the crisis of property loss, accident, or death. They may be the support and encouragement victims need as they wait for family members or others who will assist them. Many fire chaplains will respond to community disasters and assist victims in non-fire related crisis.

Last but not least, fire chaplains minister to the general community through education and direct spiritual care. Fire chaplains participate in community educational events as a representative both of the faith community and of the fire department. They serve on community crisis response teams, disaster preparedness teams, and other committees and organizations that benefit the psychosocial aspects of the community. They are mental health providers who bring a unique aspect of spirituality and spiritual care to the helping situation.

Fire chaplains earn the trust and respect of firefighters by their commitment to serving the individuals in the department, as well as by their loyalty to the department, their demonstrated honesty and integrity, and their personal faith. Through their availability, approachability, and intentional caring presence, fire chaplains minister to the perceived needs of firefighters and their families.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue learning about the Work of the Chaplain in our next podcast.

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— PRAYER —

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of a Chaplain”. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help those who are interested in serving others through chaplaincy, pastoring, coaching, and counseling to learn the basics of this profession.

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If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and $whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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