Controversy brews over scripture on a fire truck


By, Heather Warner

No one questions the work that firefighters do, risking their lives to do their jobs every day. But in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, people are questioning an image plastered on the fire department’s 100-foot ladder truck.

It shows a firefighter, shadowed by a shepherd, with scripture beneath it that reads “The Lord is My Shepherd.”

The chief with the department says he thinks the image gives his firefighters some comfort when they’re out doing their jobs, many times, in harms way.

Even still, there are some who want it removed.  Tom Capo, the pastor of Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist, says, “It’s not representing the fire department, it’s not representing the city, it’s representing a one-person’s or few people’s religious background.”

Chief Mark English with the Cedar Rapids Fire Departments says they’re not out to upset anyone, and they’re definitely willing to consider changing the image on the truck. “We can go down one of two paths, exclusionary and remove it or inclusionary and include other religions and have them help us pick out some symbols to put on the vehicle to show that we are inclusionary.”

Chief English says the image has been on the truck since the department purchased it back in 1997.

Do you think the fire department should have to change the image on the truck?