Yesterday Short Gap VFC EMS Chief Lauren Trenter Simpson was on the county chase car and came to help us out on a call that required a paramedic. On the trip home I was driving and she was riding shotgun. She was telling me about some advice she gave to one of the new people at the fire department. She said, “Just enjoy helping out the community and the department by running 911 calls, and learn what you can learn.” I do not know the circumstances under which she gave that advice, but it is great advice. In the 10 years I have been involved, first as the chaplain, then as a chaplain/driver, and finally as an EMT/driver, I have literally seen dozens of people come and go. Lauren is one of the few that were there before I go there and will undoubtedly be there when I am gone. Her advice is great advice for every person, new or old. My experience has shown me that most people are only there for a short spell… a short season. Trust me, you can learn a lot from the people there. It has a highly skilled, highly experienced core with all the tools needed to be a volunteer EMS company that would rival the best of them.
It is not just good advice for new and old people at the station. It is good advice as a follower of Jesus Christ when connected to a church that proclaims the whole truth of the Gospel. The Short Gap station is to EMS what a historic Christian church is to the Christian faith – a good place to learn and work out your faith. The whole truth of the Gospel is that Christ died for your sins and if you confess and repent, you will be saved. And if you deny yourself and pick up your cross daily and follow Jesus, you will know you ARE saved. When a Believer is connected to a church like that, that Believer can help out the community and the church and learn to be an obedient follower of Jesus by being around other like minded followers of Christ. A “big tent” church where many varied theologies are welcome is not any different than an EMS station that believes there are no hard, fast, rules when it comes to EMS care – where everyone can do what they want. I am happy to be in both a department and a church that qualify. In this season, I will help, and grow, and have joy.