The following is a press release from state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Department of Fire Services. It has been lightly edited.
Recruit Firefighters Graduate State Firefighting Academy
The recent graduating class includes three Arlington firefighters – Colin Willey, Brian Carr and Liam MacDonald.
State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director Edmund M. Walker are pleased to announce the graduation of the 194th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s sixty-day Recruit Firefighting Program on Friday, March 30.
“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” Coan said.
The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program tuition-free. The ceremony took place at the Department of Fire Services in Stow.
Sixty-nine Graduates from 33 Fire Departments
The 69 graduates, 65 men and 4 women, represent the 33 departments of Amherst, Arlington, Billerica, Bourne, Canton, Chelmsford, Clinton, Cohasset, Dennis, Duxbury, Fitchburg, Gloucester, Haverhill, Holden, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lynn, Malden, Marshfield, Melrose, Northampton, Norwell, Randolph, Salem, Saugus, Seekonk, Sudbury, Walpole, West Springfield, Westfield, Westport, Wrentham and Yarmouth.
Lowell Fire Lt. Ryan C. Carvalho Guest Speaker
The guest speaker was Lowell Fire Lt. Ryan C. Carvalho. He is a graduate of Recruit Class #174. He and another firefighter, Charlie Savard, became disoriented fighting at church fire on Sept. 13, 2011 and were rescued by a rapid intervention team (RIT). They spoke about how important this strategy is for firefighter safety.
Today's Firefighters Do Far More than Fight Fires
Today’s firefighters do far more than fight fires. They are the first ones called to respond to chemical and environmental emergencies ranging from the suspected presence of carbon monoxide to a gas leak. They may be called to rescue a child who has fallen through the ice or who has locked himself in a bathroom. They rescue people from stalled elevators and those who are trapped in vehicle accidents. They test and maintain their equipment, ranging from self-contained breathing apparatus to hydrants to hoses, power tools, and apparatus.
At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy they learn all these skills and more from certified fire instructors who are also experienced firefighters. Students learn all the basic skills they need to respond to fires and to contain and control them. They are also given training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, water rescue procedures, confined space rescue techniques, and rappelling. The intensive, 12-week program for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training and live fire practice.
Basic Firefighter Skills
Students receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills. They practice first under non-fire conditions and then during controlled fire conditions. To graduate, students must demonstrate proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation, and fire attack. Fire attack operations range from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multiple room structural fires.
Upon successful completion of the Recruit Program all students have met national standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001 and are certified to the level of Firefighter I and II, and Hazardous Materials First Responder Operational Level by the Massachusetts Fire Training Council.