FORT PIERCE, Fla. (BP)–Tommy Neiman regularly witnesses events most people would find hard to view.
Neiman doesn’t shun the terrifying sights. In fact, God has called the fulltime firefighter/paramedic from Fort Pierce, Fla., into a ministry sharing the unseen, behind-the-scenes truths that often transform tragedy into triumph.
As a teen, Neiman and his twin brother loved football, baseball and the lights and sirens of speeding emergency vehicles. As the boys grew up, the Lord called them into the ministry.
Then, through a unique series of circumstances, God guided Neiman into an outreach focused on the needs of people in life-altering and life-threatening situations.
Never one to waste an experience, Neiman saw hundreds of spiritual truths flaming up in his firefighting and rescuing tasks. Attending to the physical needs of individuals in crisis situations opened doors for this public servant to tend to people’s spiritual needs.
“Sometimes the most helpful thing I can do for a person after attending to his or her medical need is to simply hold their hand and pray. I often tell people, ‘We have to trust God.’ I say and pray that for myself as well as my patients. I know who provides the only real peace in a crisis.”
A few years ago, after observing his St. Lucie County Fire Department involvement in shooting three episodes of “Rescue 911,” and being aware of the fascination people have with programs such as “ER” and “911,” Neiman acted on an urging from God. He began writing down the miraculous events he had witnessed in responding to crises.
“Many times,” Neiman said, “it’s obvious that God’s hand is on the victim and the rescuer’s life. I simply wanted to share encouraging truths I’ve witnessed through my work.”
What kind of truth?
“Well,” Neiman continued, “facts such as life is fragile, God is real and that Christ is our ultimate rescuer. I wanted a chance to tell people about the Power behind the scenes at crisis situations.”
Neiman did just that, penning a powerful book, “Sirens of the Cross,” reflecting a storyteller’s ability to draw an audience into a dramatic scene and draw spiritual applications from the events. Since its release, God has opened other doors for Neiman, including interviews on the “700 Club” and “100 Huntley Street Live.” He’s accepted numerous speaking invitations to conferences and churches, including appearances at the First Baptist churches of Daytona Beach and Merritt Island, as well as Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C. Neiman has also been chosen as Stand Firm magazine’s April 2001 “man of the month.”
“I’ve been surprised how quickly opportunities came after the book was released,” Neiman said. “I believe God has opened the doors. He’s the one who gave me the idea to write and the ability to recall specific incidents. I give all the glory to Christ and seek to serve and honor him with any engagement I have.”
The Lord has also placed an exciting vision on Neiman’s heart: “I long to reach out and take the gospel to my fellow emergency workers,” he said. “Front-line responders deal with untold stress as they put their lives on the line and scramble to save the lives of others. Only a relationship with Christ can equip them to handle their occupational frustration and anxiety and to replace it with unexplainable peace.”
Neiman now helps churches and organizations plan events to honor 911 providers. He offers his services as a speaker and also makes free copies of Sirens for the Cross available to all emergency personnel, active or retired. Neiman even gives the book to all area police and fire stations in towns where a church invites him to speak.
“Churches who hold special events like a Public Safety Appreciation Day have no idea how far reaching it can be,” Neiman said. “Not only do workers benefit, but so do their families.”
Neiman’s book is available at LifeWay Christian Stores and other Christian bookstores. He can be reached at (561) 465-5386 or at his website, tommyneiman.com.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: CRISIS NOTWITHSTANDING, SIRENS and TOMMY NEIMAN.