Firefighter inspires kids to dream big

Cincinnati EMS worker and firefighter Mario Jackson wrote his children's book “Nya the Great,” to inspire and teach children about representation.
2:17 | 05/17/21

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Transcript for Firefighter inspires kids to dream big
We're back with the first responder who says he might have been a firefighter at a younger age if he had seen other people like him in the job. So what's he doing now, to change that for others? Let's meet Mario Jackson. My name is Mario Jackson, I'm a firefighter and a paramedic. I have been a firefighter for almost seven years. My older sister, alensa, she is a lieutenant, she was the first female African-American lieutenant to be promoted within the Cincinnati fire department. I thought I was going to be an engineer. Previous to that, I never had really thought about becoming a firefighter. Not because I thought I lacked the ability, I just had never seen any firefighters in my hometown that looked like me. If maybe I had been exposed to firefighting at a younger age, I could have started earlier, so the idea popped in my head. I have two kids, 13 and 8, and I knew that it would be more difficult for them to see these possible different careers. I wanted to make a book for children, especially women and then women of color, to show them that, hey, even in the careers you think are dominated by men, there are successful women who work in these jobs. This past April 1st of 2021 is when the book that I wrote, it's called "Nya the great and her visit to the firehouse" was actually published. The one thing I hope they learn with me being a firefighter is that you can do anything that you put your mind to, and I really enjoy the camaraderie that comes with a firefighter. We spend a third of our lives together, so we tend to become a family. National ems week is important to us, because ems plays a big part of our job, and I know the title is firefighter, but ems runs are about 80% to 90% of the calls we make. The message I hope to spread for teaching about representation is that representation first and foremost is important, like I said, I understand how a lack of representation can affect a child, so hopefully if you can see someone that looks like you, then that will spark the flame that you can do that job, you can be the catalyst for change in that field. And you can find "Nya the great and her visit to the firehouse" everywhere that books are sold.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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