Deputy State Fire Marshal Maribel Fournier and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director David C. Evans announced the graduation of the 260th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy\u2019s fifty-day Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program on January 22, 2018. \u201cThis rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,\u201d said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program tuition-free. The ceremony took place at the Department of Fire Services in Stow, MA.\n\n35 Graduates from 24 Fire Departments\n\nThe 35 graduates, three women and 32 men, represent the 24 fire departments of: Andover, Attleboro, Barnstable, Canton, Cotuit, Fitchburg, Hopkinton, Methuen, Needham, Newton, North Attleboro, Norwood, Plainville, Springfield, Tewksbury, Truro, Wakefield, Walpole, Wellfleet, Westminster, Westport, Whitman, Winchester, and Yarmouth.\n\nGuest Speaker: Clinton Fire Chief John McLaughlin, Retired\n\nThe guest speaker was retired Clinton Fire Chief John McLaughlin who began his career in the fire service over 40-years ago with the Lancaster Fire Department. Chief McLaughlin has worked his way up through the ranks over the past 35 years with the Clinton Fire Department. He has also been an instructor for the MFA for more than 20 years.\n\nToday\u2019s Firefighters Do Far More than Fight Fires\n\nToday\u2019s 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.\n\nAt 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, ten-week program for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training, and live firefighting practice.\n\nBasic Firefighter Skills\n\nStudents 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.