Chaplain’s Corner

2013 0712 (23) Dedication of Firefighter MemorialGreetings.  I have compiled a list of links and resources that may help you in your time of need.  Please use these links.  I am also available if you need someone to listen.   May God bless you as you serve your community during their times of needs and their “worst days”.

Rev. Art Speck, Chaplain HRFR and Pastor of the Oasis of Love Church ( 814-386-4016 (Cell)


After the Fire:  Returning to Normal.  A FREE download to help you recover and deal with everything associated with your fire.


Wills for Heroes … Free Basic Wills and Estate Planning for Firefighters, EMS Personnel, and Law Enforcement Officers.  No one should be without a Last Will and Testament:  - National Organization  – Pennsylvania Associate


The FireFighter Wife:  A blog for the wives of firefighters.  You are not alone:


Responder Life:  Working with First Responders and Dispatchers deal with their “Worst Days”, the calls you will never forget.

Psalm 91

Psalms 91:1-16 NIrV  The person who rests in the shadow of the Most High God will be kept safe by the Mighty One.  (2)  I will say about the LORD, “He is my place of safety. He is like a fort to me. He is my God. I trust in him.”  (3)  He will certainly save you from hidden traps and from deadly sickness.  (4)  He will cover you with his wings. Under the feathers of his wings you will find safety. He is faithful. He will keep you safe like a shield or a tower.  (5)  You won’t have to be afraid of the terrors that come during the night. You won’t have to fear the arrows that come at you during the day.  (6)  You won’t have to be afraid of the sickness that attacks in the darkness. You won’t have to fear the plague that destroys at noon.  (7)  A thousand may fall dead at your side. Ten thousand may fall near your right hand. But no harm will come to you.  (8)  You will see with your own eyes how God punishes sinful people.  (9)  The LORD is the one who keeps you safe. So let the Most High God be like a home to you.  (10)  Then no harm will come to you. No terrible plague will come near your tent.  (11)  The LORD will command his angels to take good care of you.  (12)  They will lift you up in their hands. Then you won’t trip over a stone.  (13)  You will walk all over lions and cobras. You will crush mighty lions and poisonous snakes.  (14)  The LORD says, “I will save the one who loves me. I will keep him safe, because he trusts in me.  (15)  He will call out to me, and I will answer him. I will be with him in times of trouble. I will save him and honor him.  (16)  I will give him a long and full life. I will save him.”


Christian Resources

The Truth Project:

Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child:

Wall Builders, presenting America’s history and the faith that was necessary for the founding of our Country:

Women of Faith:

Promise Keepers:

Focus on the Family, Helping Families Thrive:

National Day of Prayer:

Bibles.Net, an online Bible resource:

Interfaith  Calendar:

Adherents – National and International Religious Statistics and More:

American Bible Society:

Bible Gateway:


Our Daily Bread:

The Upper Room:


Our Daily Journey with God:

Bible Notes:

World Wide Bible Study:


Christian Firefighter Organizations

Fellowship of Christian Firefighters:

Firefighters for Christ:

Federation of Fire Chaplains


Mental Help

7 Reasons Why Crying can be Healthy:

Download link below to page….

How to Help a Hurting Friend (Link to this on subpage?):  At End of this

Hospice and Bereavement:

A Place of Healing:

National Hospice Organization:

Grief Net:

Web Healing:

AARP Grief and Loss:

Head Strong:  The importance of Mental Wellbeing:

Mental Health Challenges We Face:

Call Safe Now, 24 Hour Hotline 206-459-3020

Safe Call Now is a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service for all public safety employees, All Emergency Services Personnel and their Family Members nationwide.

Drug/Alcohol treatment, Peer support services, PTSD resources, Suicide resources, General & Family counseling and other crisis referral services.

Stress and the Dispatcher:


Suicide Prevention:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

Firefighter Suicide Prevention, an Officer’s Role:

Suicide Prevention, when it is a Fire Officer who needs help:


Are you ready to leave?

We do not know when our time here on earth will be over and our Father God calls us home. Saying that, are your papers in order so that your family can transition to life after you? Make sure your paperwork with the fire company is up to date. Have a will drawn or updated as needed. Store your documents (insurance, will, etc.) where your family can get them.

Finally, and most importantly, get yourself straight with God if you haven’t already.  A life lived serving God is much more rewarding than a self-serving life.  And yes, you can give of your time to the Fire Department and still be serving yourself.  Serving as a firefighter or first responder does not get you a free pass to God.  That was done on the Cross of Calvary 2000 years ago.  God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die for our sins (John 3:16).  Because of His love and grace, we can be forgiven and can live a life that pleases Him.   Follow the steps given in the here ( to see what it takes to follow Christ.


How to Help Grieving People

Relatives, friends and neighbors are supportive at the time of a death, during the wake and funeral. Food, flowers and their presence are among the many thoughtful expressions. After the funeral, many grieving people wonder what happened to their friends. They need their support and caring even more when the reality begins to hit and the long process of grief begins: Their help is essential, since immediate family members have their hands full of grief and may find it difficult to give support to one another, or may not live nearby. Your help and understanding can make a significant difference in the healing of your friend’s grief. Unresolved grief can lead to physical or mental illness, suicide or premature death. A grieving person needs friends who are willing to: LISTEN; cry with them; sit with them; reminisce; care; have creative ideas for coping; be honest; help them feel loved and needed; believe that they will make it through their grief. Ways of helping grieving people are a limitless as your imagination.

  1. All that is necessary is a squeeze of the hand, a kiss, a hug, your presence. If you want to say something, say, “I’m sorry” or “I care“.
  2. Offer to help with practical matters; i.e., errands, fixing food, caring for children. Say “I’m going to the store. Do you need bread, milk, etc.? I’ll get them.” It is not helpful to say, “Call me if there is anything I can do.”
  3. Don’t be afraid to cry openly if you were close to the deceased. Often the bereaved find themselves comforting you, but at the same time they understand your tears and don’t feel so alone in their grief.
  4. It is not necessary to ask questions about how the death happened. Let the bereaved tell you as much as they want when they are ready. A helpful question might be, “Would you like to talk? I’ll listen.”
  5. Don’t say, “I know just how you feel.”
  6. The bereaved may ask “WHY?” It is often a cry of pain rather than a question. It is not necessary to answer, but if you do, you may reply “I don’t know why.”
  7. Don’t use platitudes like “Life is for the living,” or “It’s God’s will.” Explanations rarely console. It is better to say nothing.
  8. Recognize that the bereaved may be angry. They may be angry at God, the person who died, the clergy, doctors, rescue teams, other family members, etc. Encourage them to acknowledge their anger and to find healthy ways of handling it.
  9. Be available to LISTEN frequently. Most bereaved want to talk about the person who has died. Encourage them to talk about the deceased. Do not change the conversation or avoid mentioning the person’s name.
  10. Read about the various phases of grief so you can understand and help the bereaved to understand.
  11. Be PATIENT. . Don’t say, “You will get over it in time.” Mourning may take a long time. The bereaved need you to stand by them for as long as necessary. Encourage them to be patient with themselves as there is no timetable for grief.
  12. Accept whatever feelings are expressed. Do not say, “You shouldn’t feel like that.” This attitude puts pressure on the bereaved to push down their feelings. Encourage them to express their feelings- cry, hit a pillow, scream, etc.
  13. Be aware that a bereaved person’s self-esteem may be very low.
  14. When someone feels guilt and is filled with “if onlys”, it is not helpful to say, “Don’t feel guilty.” This only adds to their negative view of themselves. They would handle it better if they could. One response could be, “I don’t think that you are guilty. You did the best you could at the time, but don’t push down your feelings of guilt. Talk about it until you can let it go.
  15. Depression is often part of grief. It is a scary feeling. To be able to talk things over with an understanding friend or loved one is one factor that may help prevent a person from becoming severely depressed.
  16. Give special attention to the children in the family. DO NOT tell them not to cry or not to upset the adults.
  17. Suggest that the bereaved person keep a journal.
  18. The bereaved may appear to be getting worse. Be aware this is often due to the reality of the death hitting them.
  19. Be aware of the physical reactions to the death (lack of appetite, sleeplessness, headaches, inability to concentrate). These affect the person’s coping ability, energy and recovery.
  20. Be aware of the use of drugs and alcohol. Medication should only be taken under the supervision of a physician. Often these only delay the grief response.
  21. Sometimes the pain of bereavement is so intense that thoughts of suicide occur. Don’t be shocked by this. Instead, try to be a truly confiding friend.
  22. Don’t say, “It’s been 4 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc. You must be over it by now.” Life will never be the same.
  23. Encourage counseling if grief is getting out of hand.
  24. Suggest that grieving people take part in support groups. Sharing similar experiences helps. Offer to attend a support group meeting with them. The meetings are not morbid. They offer understanding, friendship, suggestions for coping and HOPE.
  25. Suggest that the bereaved postpone major decisions such as moving, giving everything away, etc. Later they may regret their hasty decisions. It is best for the bereaved to keep decision making to a minimum.
  26. Suggest exercise to help work off bottled up tension and anger, to relax and to aid sleep. Offer to join them for tennis, exercise class, swimming, a walk, etc.
  27. Practice unconditional love. Feelings of rage, anger and frustration are not pleasant to observe or listen to; but it is necessary for the bereaved to recognize and work on these feelings in order to work through the grief, rather than become stuck in one phase.
  28. Help the bereaved to avoid unrealistic expectations as to how they “should” feel and when they will be better. It is helpful when appropriate to say, “I don’t know how you do as well as you do.
  29. Don’t avoid the bereaved. This adds to their loss. As the widowed often say, “I not only lost my spouse, but my friend as well.”
  30. Be aware that weekends, holidays and evenings may be more difficult.
  31. Consider sending a, note at the time of their loved one’s birthday, anniversary, death, or other special day.


Huntingdon Area Resources To locate available services/resources across the state.

American Red Cross:  609 Mifflin Street,  Huntingdon, PA 16652             (814) 643-2610

Behavioral Health Services: (814) 643-8880   

1225 Warm Springs Avenue, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 16652

Big Brother/Big Sister Youth Mentoring Program: 608 6th Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652

Phone             (814) 643-6955             , Fax             (814) 644-9083, Email      

Burial and Cremation Services (for eligible individuals will help pay for burial expenses): 800-237-7674

7591 Lake Raystown Shopping Center,  Huntingdon, PA 16652-0398                         Hotline Phone             800-692-7462             Fax             814-643-5441               

Child Care Information Services – Provides personalized child care referrals to child care providers based on your specific needs or preferences. Provides an online directory of child care providers. CCIS agencies also administer the Child Care Works subsidized child care program:

52 Juniata Avenue, Rear, Huntingdon, PA 16652               Phone             (814) 643-4980


Crossroads Crisis Pregnancy Center, provides pregnancy testing, counseling options, and material needs:

Huntingdon Office: 600 Washington Street (rear), Huntingdon, PA 16652        814-643-3570

Mt. Union Office:  25 South Division Street,  Mt. Union, PA 17066                      814-542-2880


Emergency Shelter Assistance, for homeless or near homeless persons: 800-237-7674

7591 Lake Raystown Shopping Center,  Huntingdon, PA 16652-0398

Main phone:  800-237-7674             Hotline Phone             800-692-7462             Fax             814-643-5441


Health Education: 814-643-8640    1225 Warm Springs Avenue,  Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 16652   


HMJ Patch Program –             A 10-week program that combines educational materials, behavioral counseling and nicotine patches/gum to assist and support individuals in their effort to quit using tobacco:

866-377-1234                         Email   

900 Bryan Street, Suite 5, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 16652


Home Nursing Agency:  9492 William Penn Highway,  Huntingdon, PA 16652

Main Phone             814-643-5585             Other Phone             800-445-6262             Fax             814-643-7326

Web Address   


Huntingdon-Bedford-Fulton Area on Aging:  307 Tenth Street,  Huntingdon, Pennsylvania 16652

Phone             814-643-5115             Hotline Phone             1-800-892-7903               Fax             814-643-4249


Huntingdon County Pride (early Intervention, medical device loaner program, etc.):

1301 Mt. Vernon Avenue,  Huntingdon, PA 16652             Phone             814-643-5724



Raystown Developmental Services:              306 Penn Street,  Huntingdon, PA 16652

Main Phone             814-643-6510             Fax             814-643-0879    



The Abuse Network – Offers services to victims of sexual assault:  217 Fifth Street, Huntingdon, PA 16652             Main Phone             814-506-8237             Hotline Phone             1-888-810-2444   


Growth Trac Marriage Devotionals: