Crisis, Trauma, and First Response Certificate Course for Chaplains

Course Authors:
The Rev. Sue Wintz, M.Div., BCC
The Rev. William R. Greaver
The Rev. Marcos A. Miranda
Course Description:

The primary responsibility of a First Responder Chaplain is to provide emotional and spiritual care to First Responders, their families, civilian employees of First Responder agencies and their families. A secondary responsibility may be responding to an incident by dispatch to a scene to assist First Responders (police, fire, EMS, Disaster Response Chaplains) with those family members who have been impacted by the emergency, crisis, trauma, disaster, unexpected traumatic death as well as being present for First Responders on scene.

Many small agencies have no training or no guidance. Other agencies have their own introduction training program and then require the chaplain to attain a credential from a First Responder Chaplain Credentialing Organization. This results in a gap in knowledge and skillsets between chaplains of different agencies. Today’s First Responder Chaplaincy demands common points of consensus across those working in this capacity. In the event one or more agencies may be involved in a crisis such as a local or regional disaster, it is important to know the skill level of all chaplains deployed to a scene. First Responder Credentialing organizations recognize the need for a common understanding of the Crisis Intervention models and Relationship oriented models which comprise the bulk of work required by First Responder Chaplain. The “Crisis, Trauma, and First Response” CTFR Certificate helps level the knowledge gaps between those chaplains who have no First Responder experience and are already “on the job”, those chaplains who have some training, but not credentialed in First Responder Chaplaincy, and those who are credentialed First Responder Chaplains, but may be Police Chaplains, but have no idea what Fire Chaplains or EMS chaplains do. This course provides a 50,000 ft view of the overall role of First Responder Chaplains.

The Crisis, Trauma and First Response (CTFR) Certificate is designed for:

  • Individuals interested in becoming a First Responder Chaplain
  • Board Certified Chaplains (BCC) serving in a hospital or hospice setting who are interested in serving also as a volunteer First Responder Chaplain
  • Newly recruited First Responder Chaplains who have no idea what to do as a First Responder Chaplain and do not receive any training or direction from the First Responder Agency
  • Current credentialed chaplains who may only have knowledge of their own specialized setting such as a police chaplain, but may not aware there are Fire, EMS, and/or Disaster Chaplain(s) with whom they may interact and/or serve alongside on a scene.

This Certificate program provides 35 continuing education units on the broad range of topics introducing the student to First Responder Chaplaincy, dives into the different types of First Responder Chaplains (Police Chaplain, Fire Chaplain, EMS Chaplain, or Disaster Response Chaplain), what type of credentialed training may be required for each, and offers guidance for credentialing training available depending on the type of specialized setting you will be serving as a First Responder Chaplain (Police, Fire, EMS, Disaster Response).

The Crisis, Trauma, and First Response Certificate introduces new First Responder Chaplain to the basic knowledge, skillsets, training, and credentialing required to be an effective First Responder Chaplain. The CTFR Certificate is a beginning to the ever-increasing training, knowledge, and skillsets necessary to be a successful First Responder Chaplain.

DISCLAIMER: “The ‘Crisis, Trauma and First Response Certificate’ is designed to be an Introduction to First Responder Chaplaincy and does not replace or meet any requirements of credentialing training offered through First Responder Chaplain Credentialing Organizations, and therefore is NOT a credential to be a First Responder Chaplain.”

Another Resource:

First Response Chaplaincy Training Manual
First Responder ManualThe First Response Chaplaincy Training manual is a great resource for those who provide spiritual care as members of a first response team. This comprehensive manual includes a range of teaching tools and learning activities to ensure that all learning styles are accommodated. It can be used with large or small groups to enhance the development of skills and the provision of first response spiritual care. Click here to learn more.
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