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Four Saugus firefighters are among 23 graduating from Massachusetts Firefighting Academy

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State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director Jeffrey P. Winn announced the graduation of 23 firefighters from the 50-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program in Stow last Friday (Aug. 18). Four Saugus firefighters were among the graduates. They are Matthew Massone, Joseph Prince, Thomas Trainor and Derek Hickman.

“Massachusetts firefighters are on the frontlines protecting their communities every day, and today’s graduates are needed now more than ever,” said State Fire Marshal 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 Director 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 #313 represent the fire departments of Beverly, Billerica, Devens, Falmouth, Foxborough, Hingham, Medway, North Reading, Saugus, Sudbury, Wayland, Westborough, Westford, Westwood and Woburn.


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 Career Recruit Program, all students have met the national standards of the National Fire Protection Association’s “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.


Today’s firefighters do much more than fight fires

Modern firefighters train for and respond to all types of hazards and emergencies. They are the first ones called to respond to chemical and environmental emergencies, ranging from the suspected presence of carbon monoxide to gas leaks to industrial chemical spills. They might be called to rescue a child who has fallen through the ice, an office worker stuck in an elevator or a motorist trapped in a crashed vehicle. They test and maintain their equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), hydrants, hoses, power tools, and apparatus.

At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), recruits learn all these skills and more, including the latest science of fire behavior and suppression tactics, from certified fire instructors. They also receive training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management and self-rescue techniques. The intensive, 10-week program involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training and live firefighting practice.

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.

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