Grand Rapids activist turned firefighter hoping to inspire young people to consider careers as first responders

  • Source: WXMI-TV FOX 17 Grand Rapids
  • Published: 06/10/2024 12:00 AM

VIDEO: A longtime activist has made a surprising career change, becoming a city firefighter and using his new role to inspire young people to consider a career as first responders. Johnny Burress, a former staffer with Cure Violence, made the switch to firefighting after a chance encounter with the Grand Rapids fire chief and a lieutenant their building. "They see me typing, putting in notes, and Lieutenant Elmore asked me, What was I doing with myself? Why am I sitting behind the desk?” Burress told FOX 17 Friday. "And that sparked the conversation of becoming a firefighter." Despite never considering firefighting as a career path before, Burress is now using his platform to show young people that this career path is an option. “It actually is the best job in the world, if you really want to know the truth,” he said.


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