MCCC Alumnus Ralston Denton '99 Named Captain of Trenton Fire Department

Story by Brandon Johnson

Trenton, N.J. - Regardless of when you catch him, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Alumnus Ralston Denton will likely be serving his community. Some days that means providing emergency services as a firefighter for the city of Trenton. On others it means leading the congregation at House of Blessings Church of God.   

And while Denton doesn’t work for the recognition, earlier this summer he was sworn in as Captain of the Trenton Fire Department. The promotion is the latest acknowledgement of Denton’s positive impact on his community.  

Unlike many MCCC alumni, Denton’s story doesn’t begin in Mercer County. Denton was born in Jamaica in the parish of Manchester. After moving to the nearby St. Elizabeth, he entered St. Elizabeth Technical High School, a school which has recently been in the news for its philanthropic efforts throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In 1993, Denton moved to New Jersey and enrolled in Trenton Central High School. A year later, he graduated and set his sights on going to college.

“My choice of colleges after graduation was limited,” Denton said. He fell short of certain scholarship and grant criteria, leaving him fewer options to pursue higher education. “But MCCC offered everything I needed,” he said.

At Mercer, Denton studied Electronic Technology. Though he worked throughout his education, Denton noted that the campus community left the biggest impression on him.

“I met and learned from students about their cultures and respective communities,” Denton said. “Campus life was very appealing.”

Denton stepped into his current line of work, firefighting, after graduating from MCCC. In the process, he found the opportunity to further his education at Thomas Edison State University, where he entered the Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) program.

“I naturally gravitated towards HSEM due to my love of helping people when they are in crisis,” Dalton said.

Denton is helping people manage crises in more ways than one. In addition to his work as a firefighter, he also serves as a Bishop at Trenton’s House of Blessings Church of God.

Since graduating from MCCC, Denton has remained a key figure in the Trenton and Mercer communities. He provides the college’s Rev. Ralston Denton Alumni Scholarship, which supports an incoming MCCC student with a minimum 3.0 high school GPA.

Furthermore, he leads the House of Blessings in sponsoring the city of Trenton’s book bag drive and participates in Mercer’s Martin Luther King Jr. day of service and Black History Month programming.

Denton said that his fervor for supporting his community is clearly traced back to his time at MCCC and its strong sense of community.

“My advice for future MCCC students interested in firefighting or emergency services is to go all in,” Denton said.

“This career path is personally rewarding. If you see an opportunity, take that opportunity. And never stop learning.”

Established in 1966, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is a publicly supported comprehensive educational institution that provides opportunities for higher education through an open-door admission policy. MCCC is home to 70 associate degree programs and numerous credit and noncredit certificate programs. The college also offers many educational experiences, leadership opportunities and the chance to interact with other students and faculty/staff members in an informal setting.

More than 40 clubs offer students the opportunity to explore special interests. Many of these clubs are directly affiliated with fields of study and augment classroom experiences.

In addition, art exhibits, dance productions, dramatic presentations, musical productions, and performances by guest artists are sponsored throughout the year. Music organizations include the college chorus, jazz band, symphonic band, dance ensemble, and stage band.

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Ralston Denton was named Captain of Trenton's Fire Department in May 2020.

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Denton preaches to the congregation at Church of Blessings House of God.