Jess Bryan-Collins served as a medic with the army reserves, and was raising children while working full time as a court sergeant. But the Massapequa resident still felt she had more to give, and had been thinking of volunteering at her local firehouse for a while.
Ultimately, it was her daughter Jestina Collin's push that sealed the deal.
Jestina told her mother that she would help with her brother's activities if her mom agreed to start volunteering with her. Nine years later, Jess Bryan-Collins is now the first ever Black and first ever female fire captain in the Massapequa Fire Department. The mother-daughter pair are the only volunteers of color in the department, and although Bryan-Collins wasn't looking for attention or notoriety, she told Patch, she thinks her new rank might help attract more diverse local volunteers.