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Junior Fire Cadet Program

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Junior Fire Cadet Program

The Junior Fire Cadet program (JFC) is the signature program of the Junior Firefighter Youth Foundation. The JFC program was first created by Captain Kwame Cooper of the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1995. This program was very successful at a local Mid-City section elementary school in Los Angeles. With the assistance of Principal Anna McClinn of the Marvin Avenue Elementary school and the members of LAFD Fire Station 68, youngsters in the 4th and 5th grade received more than an education. They received a skill set they will never forget.

In 2001, the Stentorians of Los Angeles County used this idea to create the new Junior Fire Cadet program. Captain Brent Burton of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and then President of the County Stentorians, utilized L.A. County Fire Stentorian resources to run this successful program. This program was first partnered at the Tom Bradley elementary school in Leimert Park with Mrs. Sharon Dean, Bradley Healthy Start program coordinator.

Since 2001, the program has served over 400 elementary school students in 5 different elementary schools. The JFC program is a six-week program that meets once a week for one hour a day on the campus of selected elementary schools. The program targets 4th & 5th grade students. The students are provided with a t-shirt and notebook. The youngsters learn about Fire Department operations, Fire Safety education, discipline, the value of physical fitness and staying in shape. Students also learn about civics and the importance of becoming a voter and staying civically involved in their community. Guest speakers are brought in to discuss personal development and basic life survival skills. Police officers from the Los Angeles Police Department are also utilized to demonstrate what is expected from the students if they ever happen to have an encounter with a Police Officer.

At the end of the six week program the students will understand basic fire safety principles, how the fire department operates and how important physical fitness is for them as they prepare to enter middle school and the strict physical education requirements that are taught. The students are presented with certificates of completion and receive recognition for their efforts and hard work.

The JFC program is an extension of the Junior Firefighter Youth Foundation (JRFFYF), a non-profit community based organization that was founded by Captain Brent Burton, President of the African American Firefighter Museum. The program utilizes off duty firefighters as positive male mentor role models to address the children and share with them the lessons that were learned by these firefighters when they were growing up in Los Angeles.

Other programs offered by the JRFFYF are career day speakers, live fire department demonstrations with personal protective safety gear, presentations on fire safety education, disaster preparedness and the history of African Americans in the Fire Service.
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