The Civil Servant

What does it mean to be a Servant to our fellow-man?

The fire service is servant hood exemplified.

photo courtesy Chief John Buckman
photo courtesy Chief John Buckman

Some may say “I am just doing my job” but we challenge that statement with the following examples that confirms our calling by helping others to witness God’s love for humanity:

At 3 am when the bell hits to assist lift an invalid off the floor because his wife can no longer lift him, her family has abandoned her, and she tearfully thanks you.

When you are overhauling a rundown old house that caught fire and you take the time to carry a pair of shoes out to a crying child next to a single parent who just lost everything.

When a citizen knocks on your door at the fire house, asks for help, and you sit to talk with them for an hour.

When you care enough to go back to check on a citizen who lost a loved one, after you did CPR on them and you tell them “We are here for you if you need us.

Is any of this sound like compassion?

Is this required of us? No, these are the values that are instilled in us as firefighters that come from within.

“The King will reply, truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
(Matthew 25:40)

Some firefighters deliver service, others deliver compassionate care while helping others. These men and women exemplify servant hood. They hold the title of firefighter as close to their chest as the badge is as close to their heart.

No other profession would ask of you in your interview:

“Do you understand that you could possibly be injured or killed during the course of your career?

“Do you understand that you have a dramatically higher risk for cancer (50% higher than the general population), divorce, depression, and your life span may be shortened due to unforeseen health problems?

“Do you understand that you are committing to serving our citizens no matter what their belief, race, creed, or problem may be?”

Do you understand that you will be asked to perform your tasks under the most stressful circumstances when you are tired, sick, and hungry?

Do you understand that we are not looking for an employee? We are looking for a firefighter.

Do you still want the job?

The first firefighters received a cross in honor of their heroic efforts to save their comrades. As a firefighter, you wear an adaptation of that cross on your uniform today. A man named Jesus, died on a cross in order to save those He loves. Not only did He die but on the third day He arose thereby defeating the power of sin and death. He came as a servant, out of His great love for us, and “humbled himself by becoming obedient to death- event death on a cross!”(Philippians 2:8b).

This is Servant Leadership! Jesus showed us the way so let us follow Him and serve boldly.

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