Chaplains are a part of the emergency response team and can help a home owner understand modern firefighting strategies, or assist a grieving spouse with answers to the questions they might have in the hours after their loved ones death. Each person on the emergency response team has a job to do and the chaplain’s job is to give aid and support to the person in need.
A crisis may disorient the thinking of a grieving person or family. Chaplains help to sustain a person in those first hours of overwhelming grief. Tears and sorrow need someone caring to be near. Chaplains offer small steps of guidance to help reality come back into view. Grief brings a distorted view of the present, and a steady caring presence can help until thoughts become clear. A grieving person’s family and friends may be some distance away but chaplains offer a supportive presence to people of all faiths until family, friends, and clergy arrive to give their support. The steps may be small ones, but hope and strength begin to return after the initial shock to the grieving person.
Chaplain PJ McDonald
Chaplain PJ McDonald began with the Clive Fire Dept following an unplanned encounter with CFD personnel when PJ's mother suffered a stroke and was cared for by CFD paramedics. Soon after the event, memories of the care his mother was given evolved to a desire to pay back the community for what his family was given at a time of crisis.
When the opportunity arose, PJ applied, and brought with him ten years of service as a Catholic priest in the Diocese of Des Moines, a double licensure as a mental health practitioner, and the experience of forty years of working with people in emotional and spiritual crises.
Chaplain McDonald has found joy in being able to offer shaken families the comfort and clarity that was offered to him during his family's crisis many years prior. Since then, PJ has offered his services at many crisis events for the public, has dedicated many hours of supportive conversations with fire and police personnel, and places a high value on cultivating the many fine relationships in the Clive network of co-workers and families.
Chaplain Terry Wilkinson
Chaplain Terry Wilkinson graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1981 and came to pastor in Iowa in 1986. Terry has served the Clive Fire and Police departments since March of 2004. Terry is married to Joni Wilkinson who has worked for the Clive Fire Department since 1994, and it was Joni that persuaded him to get involved as a fire and police chaplain. Terry and Joni both agree that serving the Clive community has been immensely rewarding and are honored to serve with such outstanding men and women. They have three grown children, Anna, Will, and Valerie. Terry 's days are spent serving the people of CrossPointe Church in West Des Moines and working as a VA Chaplain in the hospice and palliative care unit in Des Moines. Terry feels blessed to be able to do what you are gifted to do, and to serve with outstanding people. Terry would like to spend more time camping, reading, riding his 33 year old motorcycle and kayaking the streams of Iowa.