This past week I’ve spent some time in Rice Lake Minnesota, a township that borders the north side of Duluth. It is a sad time for the community who lost their Fire Chief, Matt Frantz, in a tragic death on Monday. (click here for his obituary, and here for a local news story broadcast). I ventured north on Wednesday, as chaplain for the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation, to assist and support the initial funeral planning efforts, and again yesterday for the procession from the funeral home to the church for the visitation. There was wonderful attendance from many family, friends, community members and fire service professionals. The funeral will be held this morning at 11:00.
As I’ve said before, I spend a lot more time dealing with the deaths of our public safety professionals that I expected when I started Public Safety Ministries. Unexpected work, but so critical to promoting the spiritual health and fitness in our professions. Lots of emotions come out in these hard times, but by far the most prevalent, is a feeling of sadness. Sadness for the loss of those who dedicate their lives to caring for and protecting our communities, our families and our selves, just as Chief Matt Frantz has done. So as difficult as it is as we mourn our loss, let us always remember to celebrate the blessed life of the one we lost. Matt’s spirit will live on forever in the lives of the Rice Lake Fire Department, as well as in the entire community.