Father Harvey Letter

April 24, 2013

TO: Chaplain Sam Saylor
FROM: Fr. Fred Harvey
Pastor, St. Therese, Church of the Little Flower, Minot, ND

A few years ago now I attended and participated in the Chaplain/Critical Incident Response training that was held at the Minot Police Department for EMS, Fire/Police and Chaplains. The program was very beneficial for me to become more up to date on issues and how to respond to varying needs that may be encountered.

I come from a different background as a chaplain, as I grew up in a law enforcement family and have been around law enforcement people all of my life. I even was employed as a Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Department of Justice for eight and a half years prior to entering the seminary and being ordained a Catholic priest. So my personal knowledge of this type of life and the stress that goes along with it have helped me in working with people in this field yet today.

The training course provided great reference materials for dealing with stress, stressors, and how to handle these in a positive and useful way. Types of Critical Incidents vary in nature and can affect people in different ways, so understanding different types of responses and learning good tools of how to engage people dealing with these situations was very helpful.

The training program that has been designed I believe has been and will be very helpful for many to take and become aware of the “hows’ to deal and handle the various situations. Every situation has its own uniqueness, yet some very basics accompany these situations. I hope that this program can become available to more people in these professions; as the needs to assist people dealing with crisis or stressful or critical incidents is becoming an everyday occurrence in our state. Having more people trained in how to assist will only help in reaching out to those in most need working in these fields of services. What they encounter and are witness to everyday can really take its toll on a person and hopefully the Chaplain ministry can assist them in getting through the tough times and provide a means for helping them heal.