- Department of Fire Services
Media Contact for 20 Local Firefighters Graduate from Fire Academy
Jake Wark, Public Information Officer
BRIDGEWATER — Deputy State Fire Marshal Maribel Fournier and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director Jeffrey P. Winn announced the graduation of 20 recruits from the Academy's Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training Program this evening. The graduates received certificates of completion at a ceremony held at Department of Fire Services’ Bridgewater campus.
The graduating firefighters represent the fire departments of Acushnet, Dighton, Freetown, Hanover, Lakeville, Norwell, Onset, Plympton, Rehoboth, Swansea, and West Bridgewater.
“First responders are on the front lines of any crisis and these newest firefighters are needed now more than ever,” said Academy Director Winn. “The rigorous training they’ve completed provides them with the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to protect their communities safely and effectively.”
Video of the ceremony will be posted tomorrow at the Department of Fire Services’ YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/dfsosfm.
The Call/Volunteer Firefighter Recruit 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. Making the training more accessible means more firefighters can participate and allows them more time to practice training skills with instructors.
The MFA, a division of the Department of Fire Services, has offered the program since 2003. About 3,000 call and volunteer recruits have graduated since then.
Today’s Firefighters Do Far More than Fight Fires
Today’s firefighters train for all types of hazards and emergencies. They are the first ones called to chemical and environmental emergencies, ranging from the suspected presence of carbon monoxide to Fentanyl overdoses or a gas leak. They may be called to rescue children who have fallen through the ice or locked themselves in a bathroom. They rescue people from stalled elevators and crashed vehicles. They must test, maintain, and utilize equipment such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), hydrants, hoses, power tools, and apparatus.
At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, they learn all these skills and more, including the latest science of fire behavior and suppression tactics, from certified fire instructors. They also receive training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, and self-rescue techniques. The intensive program involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training, and live firefighting practice.
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.
Graduates have completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. Upon successful completion of this program, all students have met the standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001. In addition, they have the ability to become certified to the level of Firefighter I and II and Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations Level by the Massachusetts Fire Training Council, which is accredited by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications.