Submitted by Jake Wark, Public Information Officer, Mass Department of Fire Services
Patrick O’Neal of the Bedford Fire Department was one of 30 firefighters to graduate on Dec. 8 from the 50-day career recruit firefighting training program. State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director Jeffrey P. Winn announced the graduation, attended by families and friends, which took place at the Stow campus. The ceremony is available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IntFBkL-kE0
“Massachusetts firefighters are on the frontlines protecting their communities every day, and today’s graduates are needed now more than ever,” said Davine. “The hundreds of hours of foundational training they’ve received will provide them with the physical, mental, and technical skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely.”
“Massachusetts Firefighting Academy instructors draw on decades of experience in the fire service to train new recruits,” said Winn. “Through consistent classroom instruction and practical exercises, today’s graduates have developed the tools they’ll need to work seamlessly with veteran firefighters in their home departments and in neighboring communities as mutual aid.”
The graduating firefighters of Class #316 represent the fire departments of Amesbury, Bedford, Boxborough, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Middleborough, Nantucket, North Reading, Northborough, Norwell, Peabody, Revere, Sharon, Stoneham, Sudbury, and Winthrop.
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 career recruit program, all students have met the national standards of NFPA 1001, Standard for Fire Fighter Professional Qualifications, and are certified to the levels of Firefighter I/II and Hazardous Materials First Responder Operations by the Massachusetts Fire Training Council, which is accredited by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications.
The MFA provides recruit and in-service training for career, call, and volunteer firefighters at every level of experience, from recruit to chief officer, at campuses in Stow, Springfield, and Bridgewater.