Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) Provides Funeral Support

Jun 5, 2023

Death has a way of reminding people that we need one another, while also bringing us together. The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team extends Christ’s love by providing emotional and spiritual support, hydration, and snacks to bereaved and all those who attend first responder funerals.

First responders are highly specialized professionals including law enforcement officers, fire fighters, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs). The nature of their role leads them to build family-type relationships with their co-workers which is then magnified across the entire first responder community. Therefore, large numbers of people from neighboring departments and around the state or country often attend these types of funeral services.

This results in long processions and equally long lines of people waiting to pay their respects when someone is promoted to Glory. We are honored when our presence is requested. Every year The Salvation Army Central Territory is invited to attend approximately 15 funerals across the Midwest.

Agencies that are familiar with our services contact us in advance and provide details for coordination purposes. Sometimes we reach out to agencies and let them know how we can help. Typically, we set up a canteen on-site that provides snacks and cold or hot beverages, depending on the season. We also have experienced chaplains available to lend an ear and pray with those who request it.

Because we have worked side-by-side with many first responders following disasters, close friendships are often formed between members of various agencies and The Salvation Army. Supporting them and providing consolation is one of many ways we are #doingthemostgood for the communities we serve.

According to Disaster Resource Coordinator James Baugh, “These events are very powerful and help solidify positive, existing relationships for everyone. Not only are we living our mission to help meet human needs, but our presence introduces us and the services we provide to others. The more people know about The Salvation Army, the more people we can help going forward.”

Visit to follow the work of our emergency disaster services teams across the country. Or sign-up to become a local EDS volunteer.

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