LISTEN: First-Responder Chaplaincy, Part 7 (Ordained Chaplains: Work of the Chaplain #56 with Daniel Whyte III / Gospel Light Society University)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Welcome to the Ordained Chaplains podcast. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society University, and this is “The Work of the Chaplain” Lesson 56. 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.

Our Work of the Chaplain Passage for this episode is John 14:18 which says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

Our Work of the Chaplain quote for this episode is from Thomas a Kempis. He said, “He is truly great who hath a great charity.”

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 7)

— Fire Department Chaplains: Education & Training

In order to be a fire chaplain, candidates are usually expected to be a duly ordained or licensed minister within their ecclesiastical body. They should have denominational endorsement as a sign of their suitability for fire chaplaincy. Some departments require that their chaplains be United States citizens and have a valid state-issued driver’s license. Others may require proof of insurance or health fitness. Each department has specific requirements, and some requirements are negotiable under unusual circumstances. As in law enforcement chaplaincy, the primary requirements for fire chaplaincy are those of personal character in integrity. Credentials, education, status, and desire will never take the place of high moral and spiritual standards, compassion, and respectful acceptance in diversity.

Many fire chaplains are volunteers—clergy or laity from the community. Others are professional board certified chaplains. Some work part-time and others are full-time employees of the department. Depending on budgets and ecclesiastical support, fire chaplains receive benefits and salary that are comparable to that of clergy in typical midsized congregations (250 members). Some fire chaplains work as missionaries supported by individual faith communities or their governing body. For others, salary is commensurate with rank—for example, New York City fire chaplains hold the rank of battalion chief.

Fire chaplains must be available (sometimes on a 24-hour basis) and willing to encounter difficult situations under some extreme circumstances. They must be personally flexible and demonstrate professional and emotional maturity. They may be called upon to act as the public relations officer after a particularly difficult response, and poise under public pressure will be expected.

Fire chaplains receive the same basic training that all chaplains receive. However, they receive special training in safety and fire suppression protocols. Because they respond during the event as well as after, they must be fully trained in department procedures and policies. Working with a high-stress population, they also have advanced training in stress mitigation, line of duty death, terrorism, and post traumatic stress syndrome. Each department emphasizes different aspects of chaplain services, but understanding the incident command structure, safety, and crisis intervention procedures will be universal priorities.

Fire chaplains are issued basic equipment after appointment. They will have standard turnout gear—personal protection equipment (PPE), including coat, pants, boots, gloves, and a helmet with “Chaplain” markings (usually a different color than firefighters or the chief). Typically, they also receive a chaplain’s badge, business cards, and pager or cell phone. They are fully equipped to serve the men and women who serve the community.

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 —

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Now, if you are listening today and do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how to do so today.

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.