William Miles, Fire Chief
77 Hudson Road
Sudbury, MA 01776
For Immediate Release
Friday, July 14, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Sudbury Firefighters Graduate from State Firefighting Academy
STOW — Fire Chief William Miles is proud to announce that two new firefighters graduated today from the 255th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy after a fifty-day intensive Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program.
Firefighter/Paramedic Kristoffer Keraghan and Firefighter/Paramedic Michael MacGregor were among 36 graduates (34 men and two women) representing the 19 fire departments of: Burlington, Cambridge, Falmouth, Framingham, Franklin, Leominster, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Natick, Needham, New Bedford, Newton, Norfolk, Sandwich, Somerville, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Whitman, and Yarmouth.
“I am extremely proud of Firefighters Keraghan and MacGregor for graduating from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy today,” Chief Miles said. “Today’s firefighters are versatile and must be ready to perform a wide variety of professional tasks during emergencies, and the Academy has prepared them to protect our community.”
“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 Department of Fire Services, offers this program tuition-free. The ceremony took place at the Department of Fire Services in Stow.
The ceremony featured remarks from a guest speaker, retired Leominster Fire Chief Alfred LeBlanc, who is an instructor at the academy and discussed the importance of training and advancing their education throughout their careers.
The firefighters will now report to work as full-time Sudbury firefighters.
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.
Starting with Class #247, the Mass. Firefighting Academy’s Career Recruit Firefighter Training Class shifted from a 9-week to a 10-week program. Instead of three recruit classes of 24 students every three weeks, the academy now has two classes of 36 recruits every five weeks. There is still a total of 72 recruits on the Stow campus all the time. The longer program adds more practical time for recruits, including training in water rescue, power saws, additional live fire training, and more focus on Firefighter I/II practical skills.
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