Volunteer Spotlight: LACoFD Captain Brent F. Burton
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 Historian 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.