What is your name?
How would you describe your work?
I am a firefighter and paramedic for a rural area south of Flagstaff. Our Department provides fire and ambulance service for the community of Munds Park and about 25 miles of Interstate 17. I participate in firefighting operations with the rest of my shift as needed and I also am a paramedic, so I frequently take sick and injured patients to the hospital in our ambulance. Each member of our department is also responsible for managing a small portion of the operating budget, so there is some office type work involved as well.
As an image-bearer of God, how does your work reflect some aspect of God’s work?
Tying the analogy of firefighting to being a reflection of God’s work kind of writes itself. I mean come on, a firefighter goes in, when everyone is running out, and saves people from actual flames. They risk their lives for others. They are standing by ready in case of an emergency to come to people’s need. The role of the firefighter is about as close to emulating the savior as you can in this world’s opinion. This ego driven perception is why I sometimes have a hard time walking through doorways and finding a hat that fits. But, that portion is not it.
No, I believe that the part of my work that reflects God’s work, the part that I could always do better in my Christian walk, is doing everything I can to get sick people to the physician. Paramedics see people at their worst. These injuries can be contributed to a freak accident, an arbitrary illness, the violent actions of others or the patients frequently inflict the problems on themselves.
My role as a paramedic is to take them to the doctor. I have some limited skills and equipment that can make them comfortable and sustain them till we get there, but they need the physician. I believe God wants all of us to be the role of a paramedic to the world. You don’t need to understand the whole bible, just as a paramedic doesn’t understand all there is to know about medicine, but we just need to do everything we can to get sick people to the one that can truly help them.
How does your work give you a unique vantage point into the brokenness of the world?
My job security depends on the brokenness. I am in a unique position to see how Satan is after God’s children and that there is an enemy.
Jesus commands us to “love our neighbors as ourselves.” How does your work function as an opportunity to love and serve others?
I get paid to be placed into people’s lives at a time of need and just help them in whatever way I can. If anything I should behave in my real life as I am trained and expected to do at my job. I should be there for people when they need me, I should be compassionate and non-judgmental, I should be willing to drop whatever I am doing to go help others. Sadly I don’t nearly enough, and that is unfortunate because that is literally my job when I am at work.