Getting to know you: Clint Fleming

Published 10:00 pm Monday, November 3, 2014

Clint Fleming’s Responding to the Call ministry serves the special needs of those in public safety professions. (Photo by Claire Sachse)

Clint Fleming’s Responding to the Call ministry serves the special needs of those in public safety professions. (Photo by Claire Sachse)

By Claire Sachse

Publisher’s note:  We’d like to recognize those in our community who help make a difference in the quality of our lives. In that spirit we plan to regularly feature the men and women making a difference.  To recommend someone be featured here please email us at:, with subject line:  Getting to know you.

People often do not realize that the well-being of an individual, family, or sometimes an entire community, is in the hands of fire fighters, paramedics or police officers during an emergency situation. The stress that is associated with that responsibility can take a profound toll on the physical, emotional and spiritual health of first responders.

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Clint Fleming, 43, an emergency room nurse at St. Luke’s Hospital in Columbus, and former firefighter/paramedic, knows first-hand how physical, emotional and spiritual health are intertwined for first responders. But, it was the spiritual health of his brothers and sisters in uniform that led him to embark on a ministry that addressed their particular stressors and situations.

Responding to the Call is the name of the ministry he started last October as a chaplain at the Reidville, S.C. fire department. Fleming is also working on a book with the same name, Responding to the Call: A First Responders Perspective of Being a Disciple of Christ. His website and blog can be found at

The ministry began with meetings in the evenings with firefighters in which they “took walks through a spiritual fitness manual” found in the First Responder’s Bible published by Gallagher’s Army.

When he was handed the chaplain badge by the Reidville fire chief, Fleming explained that he had doubts because he had no formal doctrinal training or divinity school credentials. He realized, though, that the chaplaincy is not so much a title as it is a calling.

“I have to be available to serve, in whatever form,” said Fleming. He said that his ministry can include washing floors and toilets, to providing spiritual guidance to first responders. According to Fleming, the ministry is not about having a pretty church building, but rather, like Christ did, “putting on the sandals and hitting the pavement out in the community.”

As a professional in the health care field, Fleming draws parallels between his faith and the spiritual duty to help others in need.

“As a nurse or paramedic, you don’t have a license to practice medicine. You can only work under the license of a physician,” said Fleming.

“As disciples of God, we have to surrender, respond and serve under the Great Physician. As first responders in public safety, or as disciples, there is the expectation that we will provide aid.” Fleming continued.

Originally from West Palm Beach, Fla., Fleming is married to Jodiann, a special education teacher, and they have one daughter. Fleming is also an adjunct instructor at Spartanburg Community College.