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Controversy brews over scripture on a fire truck

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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?


  • Kevin

    I would bet if those men came to save your life and possessions you would not care what is on the truck, people need to relax, anything that comforts these men that see destruction every day is deserved.

  • Kathy Filbey

    Absolutely not! People really need to get over themselves. If it comforts the firefighters, they have a right to have it there. I personally think the Peoples Church Unitarian Universalist are a bunch of quacks and only represent the beliefs of a few, not the majority. Are they going to tear down their church because a few disagree with them?

  • The Opinionated One

    Oh for Heaven's sake! What are the Looney Birds going to complain about next? This is so STUPID!

  • Mike

    Until those selfish dolts don turnout gear, an SCBA and grab a 1 1/2" attack line and go into an raging inferno they should keep their mouths shut! How do I know? Been there done that for 14 years as a volunteer in my community!

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