Chaplains bringing hope to people in crisis.

Sam Saylor served as a Police Chaplain with the Bismarck Police Department for over 18 years and is a member of the ND State Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Team. In that role he has seen the impact of a community not served by a Community Service Chaplain (CSC).

Several years ago he was asked to lead a team at a rural hospital in western ND. A woman from out of state had been severely injured in an accident and was taken to the hospital where a valiant attempt was made to save her life. The husband was emotionally distraught and one of the ER nurses had to leave her duties to try to provide comfort for this husband and then had to inform him of her death. She felt inadequate and even angry because she felt she could have been more helpful by doing her job. He asked if they had a chaplain that they could call and she said no and that because the people were from out of state she did not feel she could call a local minister either.

North Dakota is currently experiencing an influx of people due to the energy sector and local agencies are experiencing even greater stress. The need for Community Service Chaplains is greater than ever. These individuals can be trained to deal with the kinds of emotional trauma individuals face leaving the professionals free to do their job. And those professionals will have access to trained chaplains who will help them deal with the stresses of their jobs. All of this can be done without burdening the community with additional funding demands as these CSC’s will serve without pay.