Embedded First Responder Chaplains
Embedded first-responder chaplains serve fire, EMS and law enforcement agencies, and others
Video from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
FaithHealth’s Chaplain Glenn Davis shares how First Responder Chaplains are deployed as integral, embedded members of emergency response teams.
First Responders comprise a large and tightly interwoven family linked with one another across the nation. Collectively, they are our most valuable but also most vulnerable public servants. The many stressors accompanying their unique jobs are life-altering and greatly impact the quality of life for them and their families. First Responders serve and protect us daily, often putting their health and even their lives in peril. Yet the public that relies constantly on their vigilance and skills understand little of the sacrifices they endure for our benefit.
This book shares in depth the work of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s First Responder Chaplaincy Program’s team members, who essentially function as First Responders to the First Responders. It includes the FRCP’s history, development, staffing and training, and is a comprehensive, descriptive and quantitative effort to highlight and value its work.
Article: What is an embedded first responder chaplain?
As the name implies, first responders are often the first to reach the scene of a trauma.
In the course of a normal week, they may have to deal with homicides, suicides, accidental deaths or the use of deadly force. They often deliver traumatic messages, including death notifications. Many are exposed to line-of-duty death. These high-level sensory exposures and other work-related tasks can lead to health challenges such as chronic stress, social isolation, suppressed immune system, anxiety or hypertension — all of which can contribute to poor health and shorter lifespans.
“That the chaplains are ’embedded’ with the first responders makes a big difference, Davis says. ‘Showing up and building trust before something bad has happened makes it more likely we will get turned to when something does erupt.’”