Fire department chaplaincy program
Palm Bay Fire Department Chaplains
To email the chaplains, click on their name
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads in part: “Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or preventing the free exercise thereof.” While there has been much talk about the establishment clause; separating government from religion, military, police, firemen, and even hospital workers are prevented from the free exercise of their religion by scheduling shift work, hazardous and inaccessible locations, and of course “natural events.” In order to provide for the free exercise part of that right, Congress has established, and the Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed the policy of chaplaincy, believing that God is the answer to man’s dilemma, the PBFD Chaplain bears witness to the love and power of God through pastoral care to Fire Department employees and the people they serve. This pastoral care is offered to all people, regardless of race, sex, culture, creed, or religion. The PBFD chaplain should be led in his or her own faith in God’s reconciling love to be available and ready to serve those in need. The Chaplain’s ministry provides a source of strength to the Fire Department employees (and their families), and the community.
Fire Chaplain Ethics
Society today is very much aware of ethics. Everyone is called upon to account for his/her personal life and for his/her performance of duties. Therefore, the following are the Canons of Ethics for Palm Bay Fire Department Chaplains.
Article 1: PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE PBFD CHAPLAIN
The PBFD chaplain must represent to all members of the department morality, justice, fidelity, and peace. Therefore, to all he/she shall discharge his/her duties to that end.
Article 2: DUTY TO BE WELL VERSED IN MORAL LAWS AND DEPARTMENTAL REGULATIONS
The PBFD Chaplain shall apply himself/herself to a greater understanding of moral laws (including ethnic differences) and department regulations, as well as the ethics by which he/she must live and guide others.
Article 3: UTILIZATION OF PROPER MEANS
The PBFD chaplain shall be mindful of his/her responsibility to pay strict heed to the selection of proper means on the discharge of the Chaplain’s office. Violating the laws of God and/or department regulations may instill in the minds of departmental personnel and the public these dispositions. The employment of improper means, no matter how worthy the end, is certain to destroy all respect toward the Chaplain. If laws and regulations are to be honored by others, they must be honored by the Chaplain who represents morality and justice.
Article 4: COOPERATION WITH DEPARTMENT AND RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS IN THE DISCHARGE OF DUTIES
The PBFD Chaplain shall cooperate with department and other religious officials in the discharge of his/her duties regardless of religious affiliation. The Chaplain shall be meticulous in guarding against the use of his/her office or person in a way that may bring disrepute to himself/herself, Fire Department Chaplaincy, or the department. In any situation open to question, the Chaplain shall seek counsel from the respective religious and/or department authority.
Article 5: CONDUCT TOWARD THE COMMUNITY
The PBFD chaplain, in performing his/her duties shall inevitably deal with members of the community. The Chaplain shall on these occasions perform ministerial services in such a manner as becomes the office of Chaplain. The Chaplain will give service to the community where he/she can without interfering with Fire Department procedure or infringing on the ministry of others. While dedicated to the service of Fire Department personnel and their families, the Chaplain also has a responsibility of service to all humanity.
Article 6: PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF FIRE DEPARTMENT CHAPLAIN
A: PRIVILEGE: Because of the nature of the information received in personal counseling and through confidential reports or observations, the PBFD Chaplain will maintain strict professional privilege in these matters.
B: OTHER CHURCHES: The Fire Department Chaplain’s own personal convictions do not give him/her the right to distain the faith of others nor attempt to proselytize them for his/her own church. The Chaplain shall strive for an unbiased understanding of all faiths and be acquainted with their liturgies. The Chaplain shall conduct himself/herself in a manner that will foster great fellowship with churches other than his/her own and will attempt to win the good will of all.
C: FAVORS: The Chaplain bears the heavy responsibility to foster integrity and honor within the department. The Chaplain shall guard against placing himself/herself in a position in which any person can expect special consideration through him/her or in which the public can reasonably presume that special consideration has been given.
D: PROFESSIONAL ATTITUDE: The chaplain shall always discharge his/her duties with a feeling of serious responsibility. By diligent study for self-improvement and dedicated service toward Fire Department personnel, he/she shall strive for effective moral leadership and high-spirited morale. The Chaplain shall appreciate the importance and the responsibility of the department and hold his/her office as essential in assisting all officers to render valuable service to the department and community.
Chaplains Qualifications and Qualities
- A PBFD Chaplain should be an ecclesiastical certified person in good standing and endorsed for PBFD Chaplaincy by a recognized religious body with a minimum of five (5) years experience in ministry.
- A PBFD Chaplain should be able and willing to be carefully screened by local authorities.
- A PBFD Chaplain should be available to serve on a 24-hour call basis, determined and governed by the head Fire Department Chaplain and/or Fire Chief.
- A PBFD Chaplain should manifest a broad base of experience and professional ministry, emotional stability and personal flexibility.
- A PBFD Chaplain should be tactful and considerate in approaching all people regardless of race, sex, culture, creed, or religion.
- A PBFD Chaplain should be willing to become involved in training programs that enhance ones efficiency in meeting and dealing with people in crisis and should be familiar with community medical, psychiatric and other helping resources in the local area.
- A PBFD Chaplain must never have been convicted of a criminal offense or of offenses involving moral turpitude.
- The rank of “CHAPLAIN” shall be given to those functioning as a Chaplain.
- Issue any equipment necessary to discharge the Chaplain’s duties. (uniform, badge, ID, Duty Rosters, etc.)
- Provide Workman’s Compensation insurance while functioning as a Chaplain.
- Allow Chaplains to attend training courses offered by the department so chaplains better understand the job of Officers and Fire Fighters.
- Give full support to the Chaplaincy program.