The Civil Servant:
Many firefighters go above and beyond the minimum requirements in all that they do. And when others point this out some simply reply “No thanks needed, I am just doing my job.”
I’d like to 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.
Does 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.
Where do such values come from?
Is it all because we are just good people wanting to make a difference?
I would like you to consider another source:
“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)
We see that some firefighters deliver service, while 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, 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?
We should pause and reflect upon the first firefighters for a moment: The first firefighters received a cross in honor of their heroic efforts to save their comrades. As a firefighter, we wear an adaptation of that cross on our uniform today. A cross was considered the most terrible punishment imaginable and for a Roman citizen they were told that the word crucifixion should never even be mentioned. This cross that was used to put so many to death became a life giving symbol of freedom, love, and sacrifice. And we wear this cross upon our badge, our patches, and our apparatus.
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.
This man was the Son of God and 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).
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
So as we place on our uniform and answer the call of those in need let us remember our ultimate example: Jesus Christ.
This is Servant Leadership! Jesus showed us the way so let us follow Him and serve boldly out of our great love for Him and for our fellow man. In this way, we will always lead from a pure heart, serve without thought of recognition or reward, and give because we have been given so much.
God Bless all those who boldly serve our Lord and our fellow man,
Andy J. Starnes
Bringing Back Brotherhood Ministries