The Chapel of Four Chaplains launched the Emergency Chaplains Corps after the tragic events of the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995. At that time, an evident need to provide organized spiritual and emotional support for the “helpers” (police, firefighters, and EMTs’, SAR plus recovery workers) at disasters led the organization to answer the call to form such a group. Training requirements established that volunteer response teams be skilled in all dimensions of disaster service including triage, first aid, CPR, bereavement counseling and have essential competencies in crisis intervention procedures.
When disaster struck on September 11, 2001, a maximum chaplaincy effort at Ground Zero was organized. The organization recruited, screened and trained a cadre of high-qualified chaplains from all religious faiths. The Four Chaplains team consisted of 46 chaplains, 19 volunteer drivers, 10 social workers/counselors, and 64 lay volunteers. The eight-month collaboration at the World Trade Center site earned accolades including a grant of over $21,000 from the September 11th Fund and a letter of appreciation from New York City’s Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
In response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, the organization dispatched a volunteer team to work with victims in New Orleans using the “spiritual triage” model that was employed at Ground Zero.
The Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation continues to build and strengthen its Emergency Chaplains Corps. For more information about volunteering or donating to this program, please call 215-218-1943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org