ACTON — Chief Robert Hart and the Acton Fire Department are pleased to announce that Acton Firefighters/Paramedics Shawn Desjardins and Stacey Meade graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy today.
On Friday, Aug. 14, Firefighters/Paramedics Desjardins and Meade were among the 17 firefighters who graduated from the MFA’s Career Recruit Firefighter Training Class 283. The academy had to forgo the ceremony typically hosted to recognize recruits in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Firefighter/Paramedic Desjardins joined the Acton Fire Department in Sept. 2019 and Firefighter/Paramedic Meade joined in Dec. 2019.
“Congratulations to our two newest firefighters for committing to and completing this rigorous training program,” Chief Hart said. “I look forward to seeing the contributions they will make to the safety and health of our department and community.”
The intensive 10-week state firefighting academy for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, skills training and live firefighting practice. Previously, the program was nine weeks, but another week has been added to allow for additional time focused on water rescue, power saws, live fire training and Firefighter I/II practical skills.
Firefighters learned the basic skills they need to respond to fires, including how to contain and control them, public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques and rappelling.
To graduate, firefighters were required to demonstrate proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation and fire attack (ranging from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multi-room structural fires).
The remaining recruits represent the 10 other fire departments, including: Auburn, Belmont, Beverly, Charlton, Hopkinton, Melrose, North Andover, Stoughton and Wilmington.