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
When Daylight Savings Time arrives on March 12, 2017 and you change your clock, please also remember to change the batteries in your smoke alarms (unless they have a 10-year lithium battery). It’s also a good time to check your carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and replace them if they have reached the end of their lives. Get more information on how to Beat the Beep and replace aging CO alarms.
Included in this month’s Briefs are several training opportunities, and public safety education materials on Preventing Mulch Fires.
Please be sure to avail yourself to all of the important information contained in the March DFS Briefs.
Condolences on Loss of Watertown Firefighter Toscano
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and the staff at the Department of Fire Services offer their deepest condolences to the family of Watertown Firefighter Joseph Toscano and to the men and women of the Watertown Fire Department. Firefighters constantly train, improve firefighting tactics and the equipment and technology used to minimize the danger of the profession. Firefighting is an inherently dangerous job but we are never prepared for the shock and anguish when the ultimate sacrifice is made. The hardest part of the job is losing another firefighter. This firefighter died serving others and protecting his community. Our hearts are heavy with sorrow at this loss. Read the full statement of condolences.
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.
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.
Storm Safety TipsWith severe storms can come power outages and the need to find alternatives ways to cook, heat and have light. Here are some tips to prevent fires, carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you are able to so safely, please clear the fire hydrant nearest to you of snow. In a fire, seconds count.
State Fire Marshal Reminds People to Maintain Smoke Alarms
Change Your Clock, Check Your Alarm
“This weekend as you change your clocks, check your alarms,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “Prevent that annoying chirp of a dying smoke alarm battery by replacing the alkaline batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now, unless you have newer alarms with 10-year sealed batteries,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. He added, “Check the age of your alarms. Smoke alarms need to be replaced after ten years usually, and carbon monoxide alarms after 5-7.” Read the full Change Your Clock, Check Your Alarm press release.
On March 6, 2017, Class #63 of the Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training program graduated having completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. The graduates, 30 men and eight women, represent the 15 fire departments of: Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Ipswich, Lynnfield, Manchester, Merrimac, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Tyngsborough, Wenham, and West Newbury. The ceremony took place at 7 p.m. at the Pentucket Regional Middle School, 20 Main St., Groveland, MA.
Capt. Doug Mitchell, FDNY, will present the Senior Fire Officer Forum: 25 to Survive on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at the DFS Stow campus. All ranks are welcome to this class that will discuss the 25 critical firefighting issues at residential structure fires – where more firefighters are seriously injured and killed. There is no fee and lunch is self-service in the cafeteria. Pre-registration is required using the standard MFA application.
On March 1, 2017, Class #62 of the Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training program graduated having completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. The 28 graduates, 25 men and three women, represent the 21 fire departments of: Ashby, Auburn, Berlin, Boylston, Charlton, Douglas, Dudley, Harvard, Holden, Mendon, Millbury, Monson, New Braintree, Paxton, Princeton, Spencer, Sturbridge, Sutton, Templeton, Uxbridge, and West Boylston. The ceremony took place at 7 p.m. at the Department of Fire Services’ Stow campus, 1 State Road, Stow, MA.
Howard Cross will present the Senior Fire Officer Forum: Leadership Challenges for Today’s Fire Officers on Monday, March 27, 2017. Mr. Cross has spent his career coaching, mentoring and developing executives in the private and public sectors. This seminar will explore how to motivate and lead individual and group behavior in the fire and EMS services. There is no fee and lunch is self-service in the cafeteria. Pre-registration is required using the standard MFA application.
The 2017 Cape and Islands CISM conference will be held April 10-12, 2017. Registration is now open.
New this year, DFS is accepting nominations on a rolling basis for the annual Firefighter of the Year Awards to honor outstanding acts of heroism and bravery and community service by Massachusetts firefighters. The good deeds and heroism must occur between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. Fire chiefs can forward a nomination at any time until July 14, 2017. The annual ceremony with the Governor will take place in the fall. Read more information about the Firefighter of the Year Awards criteria, nominating process, and past recipients.
Keene (NH) Fire Lieutenant William Greenwood will present a Senior Fire Officer Forum Surviving the Insult on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at the DFS Stow campus. All ranks are welcome to this class that will provide a good understanding of modern fire dynamics, flow path consideration and information on why today’s firefighters experience bad things during rapid fire growth. There is no fee and lunch is self-service in the cafeteria. Register online. This presentation has been rescheduled from the original February 17 date due to weather.
Maribel Fournier, New Deputy State Fire Marshal & David Digregorio New HazMat Div. Director
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced two key senior staff appointments at the Department of Fire Services. Maribel Fournier has been named Deputy State Fire Marshal and David DiGregorio has been appointed director of the Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Division. Read the full press release on new DFS appointments.
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.
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.
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.