Supporting first responders and family

With a desire to dive deeper into his calling as a public safety chaplain coupled with the support of his peers, Jay Ortiz took the next step in his career by completing the public safety chaplaincy certification program at LTSS. 

Jay Ortiz and Chaplain Eric Skidmore

“I knew the leadership that was behind the program, Chaplain Eric Skidmore and the Rev. Dr. Tony Everett. Couple this with the reputation of LTSS and it was a no-brainer,” shared Ortiz, who was most recently named the public safety chaplain in the fire and police departments for the City of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

One of the biggest takeaways from the program for Ortiz was the relationships he formed with other students and the faculty. “The training was amazing, but the bonds of brotherhood that were established through this course are irreplaceable.  It’s those relationships that have impacted my life the most,” he shared. “The comradery that was built with like-minded people wanting to go deeper in their walk with Christ, deeper in their knowledge and understanding of their role as a public safety chaplain, and to re-present Jesus to their agencies – it is forever life changing.” 

As part of the first cohort to complete the public safety chaplaincy certification, Ortiz is continuing to feel the impact of his decision to undertake the program. “In my career and my calling, completing the certification has made all the difference in the world. My department went from having no chaplains, to part-time pastors/chaplains coming in, to me being the first in-house part-time chaplain, to me now being the first full-time chaplain in the department’s history.”

For those who may be considering the program, Ortiz asks you to listen. “Listen to the call on your life. If God is directing you to step into the arena of public safety chaplaincy, heed the call! By no means is it an easy calling, but who God calls, He equips. It’s needed in every department in this nation. We need more chaplains to be there for those that selflessly serve their communities and put their lives on the line daily.” 

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