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 we are reissuing the materials that were included in the February DFS Briefs in regards to the 28th annual Firefighter of the Year awards. New this year, we are accepting nominations to honor outstanding acts of heroism and bravery as well as community service by Massachusetts firefighters on a rolling basis, so that you can forward a nomination at any time. Included in the DFS Briefs you will find the criteria and nomination form due by July 14, 2017 for incidents that took place in FY17.
Also included in this month’s Briefs are training opportunities and public safety information on preventing electrical fires at home.
Please be sure to avail yourself to all of the important information contained in the April DFS Briefs.
John Clifford and Mary Aicardi will present the Senior Fire Officer Forum Managing Disciplinary Issues in the Fire Service on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at the DFS Stow campus. The presentation will cover proper administration of disciplinary procedures and practices to achieve successful outcomes. There is no fee and lunch is self-service in the cafeteria. Pre-registration is required using the standard MFA application. .
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey said, “If you plan to burn brush this season, do so carefully.” Local fire departments issue permits for open burning, in communities where it is allowed, from January 15 to May 1. Every spring, wind and weather conditions combine to elevate the hazards of brush fires. Once the snow melts it reveals dried grass, leaves, and fallen branches. Warm winds, low humidity and bright sunshine combine to make them tinder dry. This combustible debris provides the fuel for brush and woods fires. “Conduct open burning early while the ground is still moist and winds are light,” said Ostroskey.
The cold weather is arriving early this year. Let’s hope it doesn’t stick around, but in the mean time it’s important to keep warm and keep safe this winter. If you’re using the fireplace, woodstove or pellet stove for some extra warmth, keep youngsters and anything that can catch fire at least three feet away and be sure to dispose of the ashes safely. Here are some more tips for heating safely with solid fuels. Using a space heater? Remember space heaters need space. Be sure to place it three feet away from things that can catch fire like furniture, bedding, newspapers, and clothing. Avoid using an extension cord, but if you must, make sure it is rated for the appliance.
Members of the Career Recruit Firefighter Class #252 graduated on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. in a ceremony at the Department of Fire Services, One State Road, Stow, MA. The 33 graduates, 32 men and one woman, represent the 14 fire departments of: Acton, Attleboro, Charlton, East Bridgewater, Gardner, Gloucester, Lakeville, Needham, North Reading, Salem, Taunton, Waltham, Walpole, and Weston. The guest speaker was Gardner Fire Chief Richard Ares.
Teams of Massachusetts high school students and their media teachers received awards on March 16, 2017 for their creative YouTube™ videos as part of the 9th annual statewide YouTube™ Burn Awareness Video Contest. the first place winning team was from Millis High School for their original score video The Extinguisher Superhero; the second place winners were from Masconomet Regional High School for their visual story video The Chirp; and the third place winners were from Millis High School for their rhythmic video The Fire Safety Squad Rap. The winning videos can be seen on the Department of Fire Services YouTube™ channel at www.youtube.com/DFSOSFM. Read the full 2016-17 YouTube Contest press release.
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.
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 .