What a horrible morning. Our prayers, best thoughts and wishes go out to everyone involved in the mass shooting in Las Vegas/Clark County, especially the victims, their families, friends and the Firefighters, Paramedics, EMT’s and Police Officers who turned out like they and we always do-not knowing it will be a career altering run.
Anytime things go bad for us, professionally trained counselors and in this case Fire Chaplains can play very critical roles. In my career, Chaplains of all faiths have made a huge difference to our troops and myself personally…and that is what makes this announcement even more sad.
I hope that each of you reading this have a Chaplain, Advisor or Counselor in your department that makes you feel the way Phoenix FD feels about their “Father Carl”…who passed away on Saturday.
Chaplain Carlozzi had the uncanny ability to bring calm and stability to any situation. His warm, peaceful and insightful demeanor always seemed to get things back on track. Eminently approachable and endearing, his impromptu visits to the on duty crews of fire stations with boxes of ice cream sandwiches in hand were always enjoyed and appreciated by Firefighters. He was like the favorite uncle you were always happy to see.
It is with great sorrow and a heavy heart that we pass on the death of long-time and beloved Phoenix Fire Department Chaplain Father Carl Carlozzi. On Saturday night, Father Carl went peacefully surrounded by his family after a lengthy and heroic battle with Esophageal Cancer.
Father Carl has been the Chaplain of the Phoenix Fire Department and United Phoenix Firefighters for over 25 years. In addition to being a spiritual adviser, he also utilized his wisdom and passion for helping others by providing counseling and grief support for Firefighters and their families well outside the PFD.
Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner describes the influence Father Carl had on the emergency response service and the community at large. “Father Carl was our North Star for many years. The comfort that he provided for our members in addition to the front line response component, made him invaluable. His multi-denominational approach to helping others made him available to everyone. No words are adequate to describe the loss felt by the passing of this incredible man. He will be deeply missed,” said Chief Kalkbrenner.
Performing over 100 weddings for Firefighters, he performed just as many if not more funerals and baptisms. We could always count on him to be our rock of inspiration in both the good times and bad.
Father Carl was often on call for the Phoenix Fire Department to respond to tragic incidents and provide grief counseling for valley citizens. He was a man of the cloth who was passionate about helping people under any circumstances and at all costs.
There is a legendary story about his response one night to the hospital trauma room to console a Hindu woman who had just lost her young daughter in an accident and requested spiritual support. Upon offering his assistance she replied “But you’re a Christian” to which he responded “tonight I’m not a Christian, I am a Hindu”. In his opinion, a religious belief should never supersede someone in need of help. He always put others first and this is why we adored him.
In the course of his tenure with the Fire Service he had numerous accomplishments that include deployments with FEMA teams to the Oklahoma City Bombings and World Trade Center Attacks. It was Father Carl who administered last rites on Yarnell Hill to the 19 fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots. He has also authored 10 books on the topics of counseling, relationships and religion.
Service arrangements for Father Carl are still pending and will be announced in the very near future. In tradition with when a fallen member passes, sworn members of the United Phoenix Firefighters will remain at Fr. Carl’s side 24 hours a day until he is buried.
His departure from this world leaves a void that surely could never be filled. He was a prolific figure in our organization that we were blessed to have. His presence and efforts over the past 25 years have truly made the Phoenix area a better place and we will be forever grateful for all that he has done.
Our condolences to all those impacted by the loss of Father Carl Carlozzi…and a sincere thanks to all of the wonderful Chaplains, Counselors and Advisers who help us do he job each and everyday.
Rest In Peace Father Carl.