Fire Chaplain Program


To provide for the full range of fire department personnel needs through the establishment of a comprehensive chaplaincy program within the Bettendorf Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Service Department.


  1. Because of the major risk and constant stresses faced by fire service personnel in the line of duty, a chaplain will be appointed to function within the Bettendorf Fire, Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Department.
  2. The Chaplain will be appointed by written order of the Chief.

Qualification and Training:

The individual appointed to the position of Fire Department Chaplain will be:

  • An ordained member of the clergy.
  • In good physical health.
  • Prepared to serve in a crisis situation.
  • Willing to commit the time necessary to make the ministry effective.
  • Committed to learn the skills necessary to effectively relate to and minister to Department personnel.

To the extent possible, the Chaplain will be given the opportunity to meet with members and staff of the department, visit the stations and receive guidance in understanding fire department organization and procedures. Training will also be provided to help him protect himself and to be able to render proper help to members on the emergency scene.

The Chaplain will be required to attend the Basic and Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management programs conducted by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation.

Any other sources of training which meet the Chief's approval.

After appointment, the Chaplain will be issued the following equipment:

  • Standard turnout gear, including coat, pants, boots, gloves and a helmet with "Chaplain" markings.
  • Chaplain's badge.
  • Pager.
  • Chaplain's business cards.

Duties of the Chaplain:

The Chaplain will respond when contacted by dispatch or by the incident commander/on-duty officer, or at his own discretion and will report at the scene to the officer in charge. When at the scene, the Chaplain will be under the command authority of the officer in charge. The Chaplain will respond non-emergent on all responses. The below listed duties constitute only a brief summary of what may actually be required in any situation that may be encountered. The Chaplain must remain constantly alert and sensitive to needs and the means he must employ to meet those needs. A narrative outlining the Chaplain's activities on the scene shall be completed within 24-hours of the incident and turned into the Chief.

Emergency Situations:

  • A working structure fire is in progress.
  • A critical injury or death of a firefighter is reported.
  • The incident involves a victim that is a member of a department member's family.
  • Whenever the incident commander determines that the services of the Chaplain may be of value in the ongoing emergency operation.

On scene duties:

  • Provide appropriate victim assistance to free operational personnel for their duties.
  • Comfort and counseling
  • Referral to appropriate community agencies for assistance.

Routine Duties:

  • Visit the stations and shifts.
  • Visit hospitalized departments members and members of their families.
  • Be available for helping or counseling members of the department in times of stress or difficulty.
  • Attend fire department functions.
  • Conduct funeral/memorial services as needed.
  • Member of the Critical Incident Stress Management team.
  • On-call on a twenty-four hours a day basis.

General Guidelines for the Chaplaincy:

The Chaplain does not replace the home church pastor, but seeks to support the concern of every church for its members who may be in professions with special risks or needs. Moreover, the Chaplain must be for the advantage of every member of the department, regardless of his or her nationality, race, sex or religion.
Any communications a person makes to the Chaplain is on a strictly confidential basis and will not be released to department members or any other person. Any fire personnel may go to the Chaplain without having to notify his or her supervisor or anyone else.

Any fire department officer or member (including administrative staff) who is made or becomes aware of any situation that may require the response of the Chaplain may contact the Chaplain directly. Fire department administration will keep current telephone numbers for the Chaplain. The Chaplain may also be contacted through fire department administration if desirable.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this service, please contact .