Updated 28th March 2016
Buddhist Fire Chaplains
The first Buddhist Fire Chaplains include:
LFB London Fire Brigade England, UK
Burmese Theravada Buddhist Monk Venerable U Uttara served as a Buddhist Fire Chaplain to LFB London Fire Brigade. He was the first known Buddhist Fire Chaplain in the UK.
ESFRS East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service England, UK
In February 2014 ESFRS East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service England, UK, appointed 2 Buddhist Fire Chaplains.
Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa (Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara) as the Buddhist Chaplain.
Jacquetta Gomes Bodhicarini Upasika Jayasili as the Buddhist and Multifaith Chaplain.
Sakyadhita International Association of Buddhist Women recognized Jacquetta Gomes as the first female Buddhist Fire Chaplain in the world.
SF&RS Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service UK
In June 2015 SF&RS Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service appointed 3 Buddhists as Fire Chaplains: Venerable Pidiville Piyatissa (Head of Ketumati Buddhist Vihara), Venerable Galpottayaye Pemananda (Ketumati Buddhist Vihara), and
The Fire Fighters Charity
The Fire Fighters Charity multi-faith chaplaincy was launched during Inter Faith Week on 18 November 2015 at Jubilee House near Penrith in Cumbria, which is the charity’s first centre to introduce multi-faith chaplaincy support. The first Chaplain is Jacquetta Gomes.
Honolulu Fire Department Hawai’i
Rev. Alan Urasaki appears to be the only Buddhist Fire Chaplain in the USA.
Benefit Beings!: The Buddhist Guide to Professional Chaplaincy by Danny Fisher. USA, Off the Cushion Books, 2013. (ISBN 978-0615-796499)
“Benefit Beings!” was written to help Buddhists engaged in professional chaplaincy work in North America, and those who wish to join their ranks. The book is organized into several chapters, each offering a brief history of a particular chaplaincy (with special attention on relevant events for Buddhists); an explanation of the requirements for service as a professional chaplain in that field (again, with an understanding that the intended reader is a practicing Buddhist); and an examination of the work done by Buddhists in that chaplaincy (including positions held, scholarship produced, and so on).
The book includes information on the only known Buddhist Fire Department Chaplain in the USA, Rev Alan Urasaki of Hawai’i on pages 18-19, 142-43, 147, 150-151. Danny Fisher states on page 151 “Rev. Urasaki also appears to be the only Buddhist Fire Chaplain in the country: in 2004 he was appointed as a volunteer Chaplain with the Honolulu Fire Department”.