Eric Smith, Fire Chief
8 School St.
Gloucester, MA 01930
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Gloucester Firefighters Graduate from State Firefighting Academy
GLOUCESTER — Fire Chief Eric Smith is pleased to announce that firefighters Joseph DeSalvo and Jak Letien graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy yesterday.
Firefighters DeSalvo and Letien are two of the 35 firefighters who completed the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s 50-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program. The ceremony was held at the Department of Fire Services in Stow on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 1 p.m.
A lifelong Gloucester resident, Firefighter DeSalvo joined the department in June of 2016 after becoming a paramedic in 2015. Before joining the department, Firefighter DeSalvo completed coursework at Salem State University and was a full-time lobsterman.
Firefighter Leiten joined the Gloucester Fire Department last July after receiving his paramedic certification in 2015. Before moving to Massachusetts in 2013, Firefighter Leiten earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota. He also received the Richard N. Bangs Outstanding Recruit Award during the academy, a coveted honor and first for a Gloucester firefighter.
“I’d like to congratulate both firefighters DeSalvo and Leiten for completing this rigorous training,” Chief Smith said. “It’s a pleasure to watch them grow as firefighters and leaders of the community as they serve Gloucester residents.”
The intensive 10-week state firefighting academy for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, skills training and live firefighting practice. Previously, the program was nine weeks, but beginning with this class of recruits, an additional week was added to allow for additional time focused on water rescue, power saws, live fire training and Firefighter I/II practical skills.
Firefighters learned the basic skills they need to respond to fires, including how to contain and control them, public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques and rappelling.
To graduate, firefighters were required to demonstrate proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation and fire attack (ranging from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multi-room structural fires).
“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.
The remaining graduates represent the 15 fire departments of Canton, Dracut, Gardner, Harwich, Lakeville, Methuen, Natick, Peabody, Randolph, Seekonk, Stoneham, West Barnstable, Westminster, Woburn, and Yarmouth.