Two Gloucester Recruits Graduate from Massachusetts Career Recruit Firefighting Class #259
GLOUCESTER and STOW – Chief Eric Smith is pleased to announce that two new members of the Gloucester Fire Department have graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy and are now prepared to join their colleagues on shift with the department.
At a ceremony earlier this month on at the Department of Fire Services in Stow, Firefighter/Paramedic Alison DeMeule and Firefighter/Paramedic David Osier were celebrated for their successful completion of the intensive, 10-week state training program. Both firefighters were certified as Firefighter I/II and Hazardous Materials/Operations Level Responder.
“I am extremely proud of Firefighters DeMeule and Osier for their commitment to careers in the fire service, and the successful completion of the fire academy shows that our two newest members are fully prepared to protect the lives and property of the people of Gloucester,” Chief Smith said,
“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 Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), a division of the state Department of Fire Services, offers this program tuition-free.
Chief Smith wishes to express his gratitude to State Fire Marshal Ostroskey, Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director David C. Evans, and Governor Charlie Baker for their support and for continuing to make the tremendous resources of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy available to all fire departments in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
39 Graduates from 22 Fire Departments
The 39 graduates, four women and 35 men, represent the 22 fire departments of: Arlington, Athol, Auburn, Billerica, Charlton, Concord, Danvers, Duxbury, Falmouth, Gardner, Gloucester, Harwich, Lexington, Nantucket, New Bedford, Newton, Randolph, Revere, Salem, Saugus, Sharon and Truro.
Guest Speaker: Truro Fire Chief Timothy Collins
The guest speaker was Truro Fire Chief Timothy Collins, who is the first full-time fire chief for the town, has been in the fire service for 20 years and a paramedic for 27 years. He comes from a firefighter family. His grandfather was a lieutenant with the Boston Fire Department, his great uncle was a Cambridge fire chief, an uncle and cousin served the Arlington Fire Department and another relative serves on the Seattle, WA Fire Department. He holds a degree in fire science and is working towards a degree in leadership at Northeastern University. He offered the graduates some friendly advice on important qualities to bring to the job every day: integrity, professionalism, and compassion, as well as the need to constantly train to prepare to respond to the unexpected.
Today’s Firefighters Do Far 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 crashes. They test and maintain their equipment including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), hydrants, hoses, power tools, and apparatus.
At 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.
Basic Firefighter Skills
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. 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.