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
Heads of Fire Departments, new this year, we are accepting nominations for the annual Firefighter of the Year Awards 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.
In addition, the February DFS Briefs contains and advisory on inspection requirements of residential structures upon sale or transfer, information on the upcoming Senior Fire Officer Forum, safety tips for open burning and information from our Keep Warm, Keep Safe campaign in several languages.
Please be sure to avail yourself to all of the important information contained in the February DFS Briefs.
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.
In March 1, 2017, Class #62 of the Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training program will graduate having completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. The graduates 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 will take place at 7 p.m. at the Department of Fire Services’ Stow campus, 1 State Road, Stow, MA.
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.
On Thursday, February 2, 2017, 31 fire officers graduated from the 23rd offering of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s Chief Fire Officer Management Training Program. The 14-week program was developed in accordance with National Fire Protection Association Standards for chief fire officers, and is delivered jointly by the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy. It is a comprehensive course providing training in the non-fire suppression aspects of managing fire departments. The graduates serve the following fire departments: Andover, Barnstable, Burlington, Cambridge, Concord, Dartmouth District #1, Foxborough, Gloucester, Halifax, Harwich, Hingham, Leicester, Lynn, Marshfield, North Andover, Northbridge, Orleans, Oxford, Plainville, Revere, Sandwich, Tewksbury, Waltham, Westborough, Westfield, Weston and Worcester. Read the full Chief Fire Officer graduation press release.
State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey announced that national Burn Awareness Week is February 5-11, 2017. “While we traditionally associate burns with fires, the leading burn problem in Massachusetts is hot liquid scalds to children under 5,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey, “Remember that hot liquids burn like fire.” Read the full Burn Awareness Week press release.
Members of the Career Recruit Firefighter Class #251 graduated on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in a ceremony at the Department of Fire Services, One State Road, Stow, MA. The 35 graduates, all men, represent the 16 fire departments of: Canton, Dracut, Gardner, Gloucester, Harwich, Lakeville, Methuen, Natick, Peabody, Randolph, Seekonk, Stoneham, West Barnstable, Westminster, Woburn, and Yarmouth. The guest speaker was Fall River Fire Lieutenant Paul Machado.
All Hands Herald
The January issue of the All Hands Herald file size 3MB has been posted online. It contains information for the fire service about DFS programs, training and initiatives. The top stories on are the new smoke alarm regulations, the 26th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards, the Keep Warm, Keep Safe winter heating safety campaign, and new MFA Impact programs both field and online. In addition, there’s news from the plans review desk and the fire investigation unit.
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.