For Immediate Release - November 18, 2016

Firefighter Recruit Class to Graduate from Department of Fire Services’ Springfield Campus

SPRINGFIELD –State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Deputy Director Joseph Klucznik announced the graduation of the third class to complete the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s fifty-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program at the new Springfield campus on November 18, 2016. “Today is an exciting day to see these recruits complete their training at this new facility,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “This rigorous professional training provides our newest fire-fighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” said Ostroskey. “Being able to provide training closer to where western Massachusetts fire-fighters live and work has long been a goal of the Department of Fire Services and the fire service leadership,” he added. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program, tuition-free.

This is the second recruit training program to be held at the Department of Fire Services’ Springfield campus. The state bought the former Springfield Fire Training Center from the city and recently completed a $13.4 million renovation and construction project on the
6-acre complex

21 Graduates from 11 Fire Departments
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.

Guest Speaker Palmer Fire Chief Alan Roy
The guest speaker at the graduation is Palmer Fire Chief Alan Roy, a 40-year veteran of the Palmer Fire Department, serving as chief for the last 25 years. Chief Roy is the chairman of the Fire Services Commission which appoints the state fire marshal and over sees the fire chiefs credentialing process. He is a member of the Western Massachusetts Fire Chiefs Association and is a past president of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs. He spoke about the important traits that Firefighters must possess to become successful in their career. Many of Chief Roy's comments are formed from his years of on the job experiencing the evolution of the fire service since 1976.

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 crashes. They test and maintain their equipment including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), hydrants, 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, confined space rescue techniques, and rappelling. The intensive, nine-week program for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training, and live firefighting 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, which is accredited by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications.