State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director David C. Evans announced the graduation of the 261st class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy\u2019s fifty-day Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program on February 26, 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\n37 Graduates from 19 Fire DepartmentsThe 37 graduates, all men, represent the 19 fire departments of: Acton, Attleboro, Beverly, Burlington, Cambridge, Dighton, Dracut, Fairhaven, Falmouth, Framingham, Franklin, Lawrence, Lexington, Medfield, Natick, Norton, Plainville, Seekonk, and Stoughton.\n\nGuest Speaker: Fitchburg Lt. Patrick Roy\nThe guest speaker was Fitchburg Fire Lt. Patrick Roy who began his career in the fire service in 2003 in Shirley. He received a Firefighter of the Year Group Medal of Valor for a dramatic 2016 rescue. Lt. Roy is a graduate of Quinsigamond Community College, the Chief Fire Officer Program offered by the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA) and the University of Massachusetts\u2019 Donahue Institute. As an MFA instructor, he brings a unique passion to the Cancer Prevention and Awareness training after having lost his father, a firefighter, to occupational cancer. His message to the young firefighters is that you are not invincible, and it is important to take steps and develop habits now that will keep you safe in the long term. \n\nToday\u2019s Firefighters Do Far More than Fight FiresToday\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 SkillsStudents 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.