The Junior Firefighter Youth Foundation is the educational and school based programming component of the African American Firefighter Museum. It was founded in 2003, by Captain Brent Burton, a 28-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. In 2014, the Foundation removed it’s status as a non-profit and moved under the Museum’s non-profit arm. The Foundation works on the campus of several elementary and high schools. Providing a Junior Fire Cadet Program and Future Firefighter Program.
The mission of the Foundation is to mentor, train and develop young minds for the future.
Currently, the Foundation has developed and created the Junior Fire Cadet Program. Captain Burton utilizes L.A. County Stentorian organization resources to run this successful program. This program was first partnered at the Tom Bradley Elementary School with Mrs. Sharon Dean, Bradley Healthy Start Program Coordinator.
The Junior Fire Cadet program (JFCP) moved to the Woodworth Elementary School in Inglewood CA in September of 2002, with the assistance of Ms. Cherryene Lue-Sang, Acting Vice Principal and the members of LACoFD Fire Station 170-B shift personnel. In March of 2003, Mrs. Camile Dunbar of the Normandie Avenue Elementary School Healthy Start program created the JFCP there.
In 2004, the Foundation created JFCP with Mrs. Claudia Armstrong of the Birdie Lee Bright Elementary School. This program was very successful with 40 students completing the training.
At the end of the seven week program the students will understand basic fire safety principles, the importance of physical fitness, Law Enforcement encounters, how to avoid self destructive behavior and how to prepare for middle school.
At the conclusion of the program, the students are presented with certificates of completion and receive recognition for their efforts and hard work. They also compete in a physical fitness jump rope contest for a cash prize.
And now, thanks to the Verizon Foundation, the Junior Firefighter Youth Foundation is able to provide Domestic Violence Prevention and awareness education as a part of our Junior Fire Cadet program.
Captain Brent F. Burton was born and raised in the Crenshaw/Leimert Park district of the city of Los Angeles. At the age of 13 his father persuaded the police officer in charge of the LAPD Explorer program at the Southwest Division to allow young Burton to join the explorers. Burton graduated at the top of his explorer academy from his division and promoted through the ranks to achieve the position of Associate Advisor.
At the age of 16, Burton became an Explorer Scout with the Los Angeles City Fire Department. In 1985 at the age of 19 he became a member of the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD). At the age of 21 he became a certified paramedic.
At the age of 28 with 9 years on the Department, Burton promoted to the rank of Captain. At the time of his promotion, he was the youngest company officer in the Department. His demonstrated leadership and ability enabled him to earn this position. During his 28-year career in the fire service, he has been able to serve in various capacities and develop many major projects.
Upon being hired with the LACoFD, Burton was introduced to the Stentorians; an organization of African American Fire Service professionals that is open to all that choose to join. It was founded in Los Angeles in 1954. Within 2 years of joining the organization, he became a member of the Executive Board. Burton served a total of 16 years on the Executive Board, 10 of those years he served as President (2000-2010). He currently serves as the President of the African American Firefighter Museum and serves as the Director of the Junior Firefighter Youth Foundation.
Burton is very active in the Los Angeles community as a collaborator with many organizations, elected officials, activist and schools. Burton has assisted many young men and women in becoming firefighters and helped those on the Department promote to positions of higher authority.
Burton currently serves as an instructor at the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute that is held annually on the campus of Clark-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Ga. He is the creator and director of the Stentorians’ Junior Fire Cadet Program that targets elementary school students in the areas of self-determination, discipline, career readiness and physical fitness.
Burton lectures on the history of African Americans in the Fire Service. He conducts presentations on how to become a firefighter, disaster preparedness awareness and he has served as a motivational speaker for youngsters of all ages.
Captain Burton with his sons. Adam Burton III, ambulance operator and field training officer McCormick Ambulance Company and Andre Burton, Los Angeles Police Officer, 77th Street Division Patrol.
Pictured above is retired LAFD Fire Captain Chauncey Hughes and Director, Captain Brent Burton. Chauncey was a mentor and inspiration to Captain Burton when he was a young Fire Explorer Scout for the L.A. City Fire Department. Chauncey would assist Burton with his physical agility exam in front of Fire Station 34 on 7th Avenue and Exposition Blvd in Jefferson Park.
As the President of the Stentorians in the early 1980′s Chauncey would assist many young recruit firefighters by helping them by himself at the Stentorian Center.
Chauncey Hughes is one of Captain Burton’s many heroes!
Member of the L.A. County Fire Department’s Firefighter Olympic Basketball team
Graduated from Paramedic Training Institute – 1987
Explorer Post Advisor in Battalion 4 (Altadena area)
Explorer Post Advisor in Battalion 1 (View Park/LaDera Heights area)
One of the original members of the Los Angeles Heat Firefighter Charity Football Team 1993-1995
Member of the L.A. County Fire Department Recruitment Cadre
Recipient of the Los Angeles Community Protector’s Award -1989
Assistant Regional Director of the Southwest Region of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters
Instructor at the James Shern Fire Academy in Compton CA
Featured on Black Entertainment Television with the Stentorians’ recruitment committee
Training and Safety Officer for the L.A. County Fire Department
Created the Excel Study Program for L.A. County Fire Captain Candidates
Graduate and now Instructor of the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute at Dillard University in New Orleans La.
Attended the National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg Maryland
Received the Employee of the Month award for the County of Los Angeles – 2000
Created the Junior Fire Cadet Program for L.A. school children
Received the L.A. County Fire Dept. Overachiever Award – 2002
Created the Stentorians Firefighter Preparatory recruitment program
Served as Co-Chair of the IABPFF Convention in Los Angeles – 2004
Received the Public Administrator of the year Award from the National Forum of Black Public Administrators – 2005
Recipient of the Community Safety award City of Inglewood
Recipient of the President’s award from the IABPFF
Recipient of the President’s award from the Millennium Momentum Foundation
Member of the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles’ Mentor Committee
Recipient of the Community Leader award from the Bank Of America Black Professional Group Burton is currently assigned to L.A. County Fire Station 170 in the City of Inglewood. His company is designated as Light Force 170. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.