From Firing Line to Fire Front Line
28th March 2012
We are pleased to announce the appointment of the first Brigade-wide Chaplain for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS). The Revd Peter Vickers will provide and coordinate chaplaincy cover across an area from Goole in the west, to Bridlington in the north, down to Cleethorpes in the south; including the major towns of Hull, Scunthorpe, Immingham and Grimsby as well as vast rural areas.
Although this brand new role with HFRS is currently voluntary and part-time, Revd Vickers is responsible for chaplaincy to all full time and retained fire-fighters as well as HFRS’s civilian staff. His past experience within the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department will stand him in good stead in this new role. Peter left the army last summer, having served as a Chaplain in Belfast and Bosnia, Canada and Kenya, as well as numerous places in the UK and Germany.
He has begun visiting fire stations in order to make himself and the chaplaincy service more widely known. He also recently attended a training event for fire fighters (see picture). The plan is that he finds and identifies people willing to be Chaplains to individual local fire stations, so that a network of local, trained contacts that can easily be used by all personnel, is established. Although Peter is himself Anglican, the network will be ecumenical and multi faith in nature to enable a response to the whole service. Chaplaincy is for people of all faiths and none.
Although Lincolnshire Chaplaincy Services enables and resources chaplaincy in various sectors, including the Fire Service in northern Lincolnshire, this is a new venture, as it covers a wide area and through negotiation extends our work beyond ‘historic Lincolnshire’.
After the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding,, Revd Vickers said:
“This is a wonderful opportunity to respond to a service that is available to all and to offer them that still small voice of calm in a job that is often dangerous and demanding. Much like all other chaplaincies, HFRS Chaplains will be there to provide a listening ear, to engage with the real issues of the context, and, in association with the HFRS’s Equality and Diversity department, provide a signposting service for all personnel.”
Chief Fire Officer, Richard Hannigan, said:
“Over many years I have known chaplains from North East Lincolnshire and have benefited from their support. I hope that staff from all parts of our Service will now also gain such benefit.”