New children’s book tells the story of first responders and how God has worked through real calls

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FORT PIERCE–A new children’s book telling the action-packed stories of first responders released on February 16.

Written by Tommy Neiman, a longtime Florida Baptist, firefighter and paramedic for 30 years for the St. Lucie County Fire District, “Rookie Rescuer” describes exciting calls involving shark bites, explosions, wildfires and more. Neiman said he hopes the book will help children develop a proper understanding of God and first responder work through sharing real emergency calls.

“Children need to know about first responder work and to also develop a respect and an understanding for first responders,” Neiman said. “I pray that ‘Rookie Rescuer’ would help shape children’s attitudes toward first responders and that they would see the work as good.”

Children will respond “lights and sirens” with Firefighter Tom and become a “Rookie Rescuer.” With each call, children will go on the scene of an emergency call and gain valuable insight about first-responder work. In walking through the various calls, this interactive and educational workbook encourages children in Scripture memory, first responder vocabulary words, practical and spiritual questions, and more.

Through the book, Neiman not only wants to teach children about the physical aspect of being a first responder, but also desires to dive into the spiritual aspect of how God has worked powerfully in the lives of first responders and victims.

With a rich heritage in Southern Baptist life, Neiman said it was important for him to write this resource from a distinctly Christian worldview. With his brothers serving as local church pastors in Florida, Neiman, too, serves as a staff associate at the South Beach Campus of Westside Church in Fort Pierce.

Neiman’s eye-witness accounts and hands-on experience of being a firefighter and paramedic for 30 years provided inspiration for the three-year writing project. Neiman has also served as a chaplain to his department and at a local trauma center. In 2003, he was honored as Florida’s Firefighter of the Year. Over the years, Neiman has spoken at more than 400 local churches and first responder events, served in the aftermath of 9/11, and is the founder of Sirens for the Cross, a ministry that serves first responders.

In spite of these accolades, Neiman said one thing matters to him—making Jesus known.

Convinced that children, specifically second through sixth grade, are approaching an ever-increasing impressionable age, Neiman desires the truth of God’s Word to drown out the noisy influences coming into their lives through media, screens and the news.

“Children are being impacted by the media constantly and beginning to discover the world around them, and undoubtedly they will see light and hear sirens and be intrigued by that,” Neiman said. “I hope this resource will help children connect the things they see in the world to what God can do through that.”

Quoting Proverbs 22:6, he said he desires for this new way of thinking biblically to ultimately “shape their lives” and spiritually minister to children and their families.

Neiman’s heartbeat doesn’t just have a pulse for teaching children biblical truths. He desires for every person to have a heart to serve the Lord and see their work as worship before the Lord.

‘Whatever your career or calling is, you are a first responder spiritually. As believers, we have the responsibility to share the good news of the gospel with the lost.’

Tommy Neiman Firefighter; Staff Associate, South Beach Campus, Westside Church, Fort Pierce

“Whatever your career or calling is, you are a first responder spiritually,” he said. “As believers, we have the responsibility to share the good news of the gospel with the lost.”

“As God orchestrates your steps in your mission field, may you have a sensitive heart to what God is doing wherever He has planted you,” he said.

“I pray that ‘Rookie Rescuer’ challenges every person that God can be part of their work and use it as a platform for His glory.”

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