State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Mass. Firefighting Academy Deputy Director Joseph J. Klucznik presented certificates of completion to members of the Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training Class #45 in a graduation ceremony at the Palmer High School, Palmer, MA on September 18, 2013.
The Call/Volunteer Firefighter Training program is unique in that it delivers a standard recruit training curriculum, meeting national standards, on nights and weekends to accommodate the schedule of firefighters in suburban and rural areas. Bringing the training closer to the firefighters often means more firefighters can participate. This program was held at area fire department and the Department of Fire Services training facilities.
33 Graduates from 16 Fire Departments
The 33 graduates, 29 men and four women, represent the 16 fire departments of: Amherst, Ashfield, Belchertown, Bondsville, Dalton, East Longmeadow, Hampden, Leverett, Monson, Palmer, Russell, Southampton, Three Rivers, Ware, Westhampton, and Williamsburg.
Today’s Fire Department Does Much 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 accidents. They test and maintain their equipment, ranging from self-contained breathing apparatus to hydrants, hoses, power tools, and vehicles.
In this Massachusetts Firefighting Academy program, 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, incident command, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, self-contained breathing apparatus, stress management, water rescue procedures, confined space rescue techniques, and rappelling. The intensive program includes classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training and live firefighting practice. Graduates have completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends.