GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An African-American firefighter is making history in Grand Rapids.
Lt. Harold Elmore was recently named Firefighter of the Year by the American Legion Furniture City Post 258. He’s the 48th Grand Rapids firefighter to earn the award, but the first one who is also African-American.
Elmore has served with the Grand Rapids Fire Department for 19 years, most recently helping lead the West Michigan Fire Match program. The initiative helps children who were caught setting fires get back on the right track.
“A lot of these kids are using fire as a voice for something. So when we start educating these kids on the troubles and dangers of fire, sometimes they need that extra. And this program, having those other agencies as partnership helps that family not only deal with the fire safety issue but deal with the issues that the kids also have that caused the fire in the first place,” Elmore said.
Elmore says the program is the only one of its kind in the state and he hopes more agencies will follow the GRFD’s lead.