ACTON — Chief Robert Hart is pleased to announce that two firefighters graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy on Friday, Jan. 10.
Firefighters Kevin “Wade” Messamore and Alek Pouliopoulos were among the 35 graduates representing 20 departments to graduate from the MFA’s Career Recruit Firefighter Training Class 279. Graduates were recognized at a ceremony at the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services headquarters in Stow.
Firefighters Messamore and Pouliopoulos joined the department in September 2017 and November 2018, respectively. Both worked as paramedics before attending the academy and sit on the Advanced Life Support (ALS) Oversight Committee.
“The academy does an incredible job setting graduates up for success in the fire service by giving them skills they need to do their job safely and effectively,” Chief Hart said. “I look forward to seeing the contributions our two newest firefighters will make to our department and community.”
Modern firefighters 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.
The 10-week program teaches the essentials of fire and non-fire conditions, life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation and fire attack. They also undergo rigorous training in areas like hazardous materials mitigation, stress management, confined space rescue techniques and more.
Fellow graduates of the Recruit Firefighter Training Class 279 represent the departments of Arlington, Bedford, Beverly, Concord, Hingham, Hopedale, Ipswich, Leominster, Lexington, Lynn, Manchester, Mansfield, Marshfield, Maynard, Melrose, Rockland, Sudbury, Taunton and Yarmouth.
About the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy:
At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, firefighter recruits learn a wide range of skills in an intensive 10-week program. Certified and more experienced firefighters lead classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training and firefighting practice. Students are given training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques and rappelling. Upon successful completion of the Recruit Program, all students have met national standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001.