Update: Chris finished seminary in June 2015, left both the EMT job and the fire department roles, and took a part-time job as Staff Chaplain at Providence Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. In May 2016, he completed his first of four possible terms of “CPE,” a key to getting full-time work and becoming a board-certified chaplain (highly desirable for hospital chaplains, but not necessary for all chaplains). Attempts to get a 12-month paid hospital residency (which would cover the rest of the CPE requirement) have not worked out for a variety of reasons.
Meanwhile, a dream job landed in his lap: In November 2016 he was named South Carolina State Fire Chaplain, working for the State Fire Academy. He’d drop everything else and pour his heart and soul into that… just one problem: it’s an unpaid position. So far.
So, for now, he’s a fire chaplain by day, hospital chaplain by night, and great at both. But we can’t quite make ends meet. Praying and waiting for God’s guidance and provision in all this.
July 2017: Woohoo, Chris got added to payroll! Not only does this help us financially, it also means that in the work at the academy, his hands are no longer tied. He can do anything they want him to do. Next week it means putting on fire gear and hanging out in a burning building during training excercises. Not my idea of a good time, but everyone is different, eh?
Chris is an Emergency Medical Technician. During the day he uses his EMT skills with a Eugene-based medical transportation company. Evenings and weekends, he goes on medical calls with the fire department. Chris is one of the district’s top responders and was the 2013 Volunteer of the Year.
Chris also serves as Chaplain for the Santa Clara Fire District. He ministers to the spiritual and personal needs of people in crisis and their families, especially when there’s a death. He helps lead and look after firefighters and other first responders. Chris is also called on to use chaplaincy skills in his medical transport job, serving hospice patients and many who are suffer long-term illnesses or disabilities.
Chris is in a Master of Divinity program at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. He drives to Portland (two hours away) once a week for classes, and carves out time for study and assignments on the evenings and weekends. This will help equip him to work as a chaplain full-time.