Fire Chaplaincy Initiative
The Florida Firefighter Safety and Health Collaborative Fire Chaplaincy Initiative was started following the condominium collapse in Surfside in June of 2021. The magnitude of this tragic event required a robust response to provide care and comfort to the fire rescue personnel who were deployed.
The tragedy in Surfside became a defining moment for many throughout emergency services. In these months that have followed, much has been done to help us better prepare for future events.
The chaplaincy has also been impacted. It became very clear that there was work to be done to better connect and coordinate fire chaplains across Florida.
Florida Fire Chaplains exist to provide fire rescue personnel with spiritual and emotional support during day-to-day operations and in times of large-scale, long-duration events.
- Discover, promote, recruit, train, and support Florida Fire Chaplains for day-to-day operations.
- Coordinate Florida fire chaplains during large-scale, long-duration events.
Surfside showed the distinct nature of the chaplaincy and the need to provide spiritual support in times of crisis. For many, great difficulty can create a crisis of faith which challenges long held spiritual beliefs. In addition, the practice of spiritual disciplines provided peace and comfort.
In addition, there was observed the complementary role chaplains play alongside mental health professionals, peer support personnel, and K-9 peer support. Together, we provide comfort and care for the heart, soul, mind, and strength of Florida firefighters.