C. S. Lewis:
His Literary Achievement
Called to Serve : My life as a Fire-fighter Deacon
From the introduction
"The following pages are filled with stories about a person, who, from a very early age, fell in love with fire trucks and with those people who were called firefighters. He always dreamed of becoming one and eventually did. He actually became a call firefighter and, later on in his career, was appointed as the department Fire Chaplain. It was a strange twist of fate that led him from being a college student who worked in a mill to help pay for his education, to being a teacher/firefighter, then a masonry laborer to help make extra money for the family, then a teacher/firefighter/deacon, then a teacher/deacon/fire chaplain, then a retired teacher, and then a deacon/fire chaplain.
His love for the fire services helped him to become a better person. It helped to prepare him for a life of service in the Catholic Church as a deacon and at the same time to remain in the service of those whom he admired and grew to love. They were and are the men and women of the fire service.
~ Deacon Tony
Called to Serve is the story of one man’s dream to be a firefighter. But dreams have a way of taking detours – so Tony Surozenski became a teacher and eventually a volunteer firefighter. And when God enters the picture, Tony is faced with a choice. Will he give up firefighting to follow another call? This memoir, written with honesty and humor, describes his experiences and struggles. After many years, Tony's two callings are finally united – in service as a fire chaplain at Ground Zero after the 9-11 attacks and in other ways he could not have imagined.
“This book provides a rare glimpse into the life of a fire chaplain. However, Tony shows us something more – the heart, mind and soul of his personal life.”
Massachusetts Peer Support Network, Coordinator
International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Faculty
“As a former chief and firefighter, the stories brought back memories of how things were done in the “good old days” when air packs were a luxury. They also reveal struggles that we all had from time to time with facing the reality of tragic moments and how we handled them. It certainly is an interesting read. A firefighter/chaplain is a blessing to the fire service. He has been there and knows where the firefighters are coming from.”
Former Chief Gordon D. Wentworth
“Deacon Tony Surozenski looks at the fire service from a number of angles, each one offering useful and important lessons. He began as a firefighter, rising to the rank of Captain. When he was ordained as a Roman Catholic deacon, Tony became a fire chaplain, noting how his role evolved over time. As a member of the Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains he has responded to some of the largest incidents in our recent history. His experience and storytelling expertise make this one book you must read!”
Rev. James A. Tilbe
Chief Chaplain, Massachusetts Corps of Fire Chaplains
“Chaplain Tony’s account of his experience at the 9/11 site brought out the pain and grief that all firefighters felt after the attack. He also shows us through his own personal experience that we all have our own demons to bear.”
Chief Gordon Forrester