Kevin Patridge, Fire Chief
413 Bay Road
South Easton, MA 02375
For Immediate Release
Friday, Aug. 18, 2017
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Three Easton Firefighters Graduate from Massachusetts Firefighting Academy
EASTON — Chief Kevin Partridge is pleased to announce that three members of the Easton Fire Department graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy this afternoon.
On Friday, Aug. 18, firefighters David Niklason, Richard Salve III and Timothy Sweeney were among the 34 graduates, all men, from 256th class that completed the 50-day intensive Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program. Graduates were recognized at a 1 p.m. ceremony at the Massachusetts Fire Academy in Stow.
All three Easton firefighters were appointed to the Easton Fire Department in February 2017 and are certified paramedics.
Firefighter Niklason, 24, from West Bridgewater, graduated from Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School with a specialization in HVAC & Refrigeration. Before joining Easton Fire full-time, Firefighter Niklason was a call firefighter in West Bridgewater for five years.
Firefighter Salve III, 25, from Easton, graduated from Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School and completed three years at Bristol Community College in fire science.
Firefighter Sweeney, 29, from Walpole, graduated from Walpole High School and received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Curry College, where he played baseball.
“I am very happy to have these three gentlemen on the department,” Chief Partridge said. “Since hiring them in February, they’ve done a great job in completing their paramedic orientation, and they are fitting in with the department very well. It is exciting to see them completing their academy training. All three recruits are very personable and a pleasure to be with and I know they will complement the great team we have.”
The other 33 graduates represented the 22 fire departments of Ashland, Bedford, Clinton, Fitchburg, Franklin, Gardner, Groton, Hanover, Haverhill, Hudson, Lawrence, Lynnfield, Melrose, North Attleboro, Northborough, Sandwich, Scituate, Sudbury, Uxbridge, Weston, Wilmington and Woburn.
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, 10-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 nine-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