Brandon Smith and Royal Ramey fell in love with firefighting. Now, they're helping people get on the same path to a new life.
Two firefighters were honored on Friday for their nonprofit work that helps give people second chances.
"The Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program, also known as FFRP, is a nonprofit organization that helps the people who are currently and formerly incarcerated in California's fire camps, transition into gainful employment as firefighters once they come home," said co-founder Brandon Smith.
Brandon Smith and Royal Ramey were formerly incarcerated. They fell in love with firefighting and wanted to help people get on the same path to a new life.
"I really wanted to be a public servant," said Ramey.
According to Smith, there's a shortage of firefighters. He says utilizing incarcerated and previously incarcerated people as firefighters is crucial to the safety of our state.
"To date, we've helped over 160 people obtain gainful careers within the Forestry and Fire sectors," said Smith.
The two were recently honored with the 2022 Irvine Foundation Leadership award which includes a $250,000 grant and a mural to commemorate their leadership.
"Getting recognition of our hard work and with the things that we've been able to accomplish in so little time, I'm speechless," said Ramey.
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