As the Massachusetts State Fire Marshal and the head of the Department of Fire Services, I am very proud of the progress we have made to provide much needed resources to the fire service community. As you browse through our website, you will see all the services provided by the Department of Fire Services whether it is for training, uniform application of the fire codes, fire data, hazardous materials response, life safety education, or fire investigation.
Peter J. Ostroskey
State Fire Marshal
This month’s Briefs include several training opportunities, and public safety education materials.
Please be sure to avail yourself to all of the important information contained in the December DFS Briefs.
“The best way to prevent a Christmas tree fire is to water it well every day, place it well away from heat sources, and dispose of it soon after the holiday,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. “Although Christmas tree fires are rare these days, they are very serious when they do occur.” According to the U.S. Fire Administration, one-third of home Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and one-quarter start when the tree is placed too close to a heat source such as a fireplace, woodstove, radiator or space heater. “Turn off the tree when leaving the house or going to bed,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey, “Consider using a timer so you won’t forget.” More information on Winter Holiday Safety.
Governor Charlie Baker, Public Safety and Security Secretary Daniel Bennett and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey recognized heroic acts of bravery during the 27th annual “Firefighter of the Year” Awards. The event took place at Mechanic’s Hall in Worcester on Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Recipients were recognized with the following awards: Medal of Valor, Individual Meritorious Conduct, Group Meritorious Conduct, the Norman Knight Award for Excellence in Community Service, and an Excellence in Leadership Award. Firefighters from Boston, Fitchburg, Hyannis, Lynn, Malden, Saugus, Scituate, Swansea, Watertown, and Weymouth will be honored during the ceremony. The State Fire Marshal’s Award was presented to retired State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan who was the longest serving State Fire Marshal in the Commonwealth’s history. His leadership and vision has led to well trained firefighters, strong fire codes, and a safer Commonwealth. Read the full 2016 Firefighter of the Year press release.
New Smoke Alarm Regulations When Selling Older Homes
No Expired Alarms; Replacement Alarms Must Have 10-year Batteries
Starting December 1, older one- and two-family homes cannot be sold with expired or out-of-date smoke alarms. The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations has revised the State Fire Code to require that one- and two-family homes built before 1975 must have working smoke alarms that have not expired. Working smoke alarms installed prior to December 1, 2016 (that met previous requirements) can continue to be used until they are 10 years old or have exceeded the manufacturer’s recommended life, whichever occurs first. Read the full press release on New Smoke Alarm Regulations. Realtors and homeowners can find out more on the Smoke Alarm Regulations page where they will find the Consumer’s Guide to Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Requirements When Selling One- and Two-Family Homes.
CISM Conference - December 16
The Department of Fire Services will be hosting a day-long Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Conference on December 16, 2016 at our Stow Headquarters. It is open to first responders of all backgrounds, hospital personnel, mental health clinicians and chaplains. James T. Reese, Ph.D. will present Ethics in CISM: Being at your Best while Maintaining Motivation and Integrity. Col. David Grossman will present The Bullet-Proof Mind: Applications for CISM.
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Deputy Director Joseph Klucznik are pleased to announce that 64 public safety officers completed the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s six-day Advanced Fire Investigation course on November 18, 2016. The 64 graduates, including 39 firefighters, 21 local police officers, three Massachusetts State Police officers, and one DFS code compliance officer, represent the following 57 agencies: Arlington Fire Department, Beverly Fire Department, Boston Fire Department, Boston Police Department, Braintree Fire Department, Bridgewater Fire Department, Bridgewater Police Department, Brockton Police Department, Canton Fire Department, Danvers Fire Department, Department of Fire Services, Dudley Fire Department, Easton Fire & Rescue Department, Easton Police Department, Everett Fire Department, Fall River Fire Department, Fall River Police Department, Gardner Fire Department, Gardner Police Department, Hingham Fire Department, Holyoke Police Department, Hopkinton Fire Department, Hopkinton Police Department, Hudson Fire Department, Hudson Police Department, Kingston Fire Department, Kingston Police Department, Lawrence Fire Department, Lexington Police Department, Longmeadow Fire Department, Marlborough Fire Department, Mass State Police, Methuen Fire Department, Methuen Police Department, New Bedford Fire Department, Newton Fire Department, Newton Police Department, North Andover Fire Department, North Andover Police Department, Reading Fire Department, Reading Police Department, Saugus Fire Department, Swampscott Fire Department, Watertown Fire Department, Watertown Police Department, Webster Fire Department, West Newbury Fire Department, Westborough Fire Department, Westborough Police Department, Westfield Fire Department, Woburn Fire Department, Woburn Police Department, Worcester Fire Department, and Worcester Police Department.
Members of the Career Recruit Firefighter Class #S03 graduated on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.in a ceremony at the Department of Fire Services, 100 Grochmal Road, Springfield, MA. The 21 graduates, all men, represent the 11 fire departments of: Amherst, Chicopee, Easthampton, Longmeadow, Northampton, Palmer, Springfield, Turners Falls, Ware, West Springfield, and Westfield. The guest speaker was Palmer Fire Chief Alan Roy.
Taking Action Against Cancer
Cancer is becoming an ever-increasing cause of firefighter deaths. Firefighters have much higher rates of cancer than the residents they serve because of exposure to carcinogens on the fireground and in the firehouse. This course will provide information on immediate actions that all ranks from firefighter to chief can take to reduce the occupational cancer risk and how the nonprofit Firefighter Cancer Support Network can help firefighters cope with cancer. The course will address the importance of promoting a new culture of safety and fitness by developing the mindset that firefighters are tactical athletes in order to help prevent cancer, heart disease, and injuries within their departments.
Fire chiefs and training officers can request this Impact course for their department by using the Mass. Firefighting Academy’s Course Request Form.
FCAM Technical Rescue Subcommittee Video
Watch this 4-minute video made by the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts’ Technical Rescue Subcommittee. It showcases the vast and diverse technical rescue capabilities in the Commonwealth.
MFA Training Videos on YouTube™
Have you had a chance to look at the training videos that the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA) has posted a on the DFS YouTube™ Channel (www.youtube.com/DFSOSFM)? The first series has 19 training videos on ladders of all heights and maneuvers.