The National Police and Fire Chaplain Academy held its graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 2, in Spokane Valley, Wash.
Local chaplain Paula DesBiens attended the intensive week-long training, which fulfills all requirements for certification on the national level for both police and fire chaplaincy. She and her 20 fellow students completed 60+ hours of training in areas such as death notifications, stress management, suicide counseling, ride-along protocols, and areas of unique needs in the police and fire communities.
Students came from as far away as Texas and Alaska; Idaho, Washington and Montana were well represented.
Chaplain DesBiens has recently joined Boundary County Chaplain Corps, which requires academy training for all of its chaplains so that they can adequately serve the first responder community. Paula, like all BCCC chaplains, is a reserve deputy with the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Dave Kramer attended the ceremony to oversee the pinning of her badge when she received her certificate.
Chaplain DesBiens was also chosen to be the class representative and spoke of her experience at the academy with gracious and powerful decorum. The large Boundary County contingent in attendance was very proud to call her one of our own.