Meet the Visionary



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.  At that time, and still today,  Explorers start at the age of 14.  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 and worked in the communities of Altadena, LaDera Heights and West Hollywood.

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 30-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 Dillard University in New Orleans La.  He is the creator and director of the  Junior Fire Cadet Program that targets elementary school students in the areas of self-determination, discipline, career readiness and physical fitness.  He also created the Future Firefighter Program held on the campus of selected High Schools in the greater Los Angeles County region.

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 is also a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) instructor for the L.A. County Fire Department .

Captain Burton is currently assigned to L.A. County Fire Department’s Recruitment Unit.  He is also known for his work as a Truck Company Officer at Fire Station 170 in the City of Inglewood. Light Force 170 is designated as one of the busiest Truck Companies in the L.A. County Fire Department.  He can be reached at


Captain Burton’s Awards, Accomplishments

  • 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
  • Former Instructor at the James Shern Fire Academy in Compton CA
  • Featured on Black Entertainment Television with the Stentorians’ recruitment committee
  • Former 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
  • Created the Stentorians’ Ebony Reunion event
  • 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 – 2006
  • Recipient of the President’s award from the Millennium Momentum Foundation – 2007
  • Chairman of the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles’ Mentor Committee
  • Recipient of the Community Leader award from the Bank Of America Black Professional Group