Dr. Kwame Cooper


In 1992 Kwame was instrumental in designing the Los Angeles City Fire Department's School Outreach Program, which promotes fire prevention and safety for children. This program has reached more than 350,000 youth attending elementary school. It also served as the inspiration for the National Fire Protection Association's "Safe Cities" and "Champion" programs, which currently operate across the country. For the past seven years, he has served as the Fire Safety Education Director for the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters and is a consultant to the NFPA's Center for High Risk Outreach. In these roles he helps provide direction to fire departments nationwide and abroad in their efforts to offer effective service to all communities. As an instructor with the National Fire Academy, Kwame has developed and taught new grassroots, innovative curriculum to firefighters and members of the community across the country. Since 1992 he has served as an instructor at the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute at Dillard University, teaching future Fire Captains and Chief Officers from around the country courses in leadership, effective management and community-based fire stations. As a Company Officer assigned to Fire Station 68 in South Los Angeles, Kwame guided the implementation of five community-based fire protection programs. The documentary "Dreams on Fire" profiled the relationship between a boy from the neighborhood and members of Fire Station 68. This KCET program received a Golden Mike and an Emmy award for best documentary regarding social issues in Southern California. In 1996 Fire Station 68 earned national acclaim when it was selected as one of 11 "Promising Practices" by President Clinton's Race Initiative. As a result, Kwame was invited to attend President Clinton's town hall meeting on race relations. He also hosted visiting members of Clinton's advisory panel on race relations and participated with other community members in a dialogue on race. Chief Burns is certified through the Texas Commission on Fire Protection as a Master Structural Firefighter, Master Fire Arson Investigator, Master Inspector, Master Instructor and holds a Basic Peace Officer Certification through Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). Chief Burns graduated Cum Laude from Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelor of applied Arts and Sciences in Criminal Justice and Management and a Master of Arts in Organizational Management. Chief Burns is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program from the National Fire Academy in Maryland and was selected to attend the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government for Public Officials in 2006.