Chaplain helps firefighters fight the battle some keep inside

CLINTON, Iowa -- Pastor Ron is someone firefighters can confide in when fires lead to fatalities.

From splinting a broken arm to stopping a bleed, firefighters train for all types of emergencies. Still, there are some things you can never prepare for -- like losing a victim to a house fire, or losing one of your own.

Pastor Ron has been a chaplain for the Clinton Fire Department for nearly two decades. He helps firefighters fight the battle some keep bottled up inside.

"I always told them you know you need to talk about this. Or it will kill you," Pastor Ron said. "It's the stuff we never talk about that ambushes us. And particularly for police and fire, that's cumulative. It is a series of calls where you saw stuff, had to deal with stuff, you tried your best, weren't able to save them."

He said he visits the station weekly to check in with the crew... building a bond among the brothers.

"I think it's a mutual admiration society," Pastor Ron said. "I love them, they love me... I can listen and that's what it takes."

Pastor Ron, and other chaplains, are there in times of crisis when our heroes need it most.

"These people see things, handle things, smell things, hear things that would send the rest of us screaming out of the room," Pastor Ron said. "They move towards chaos. And some one needs to be there to kind of help them process that. That's part of what I do."

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