STOW —State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Deputy Director Joseph Klucznik presented certificates of completion to members of the Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training Class #77. The ceremony took place on June 26.
The Call/Volunteer Firefighter Recruit Training program is unique in that it delivers a standard recruit training curriculum, meeting national standards, on nights and weekends to accommodate the schedule of firefighters in suburban and rural areas.
Bringing the training closer to the firefighters often means more firefighters can participate. It uses an online eBlended format that has students doing more work outside of class and taking quizzes online. This allows students more time to practice training skills with instructors and to better control their own workloads and time commitments.
The 36 graduates, five women and 31 men, represent the 16 fire departments of Ashburnham, Avon, Dudley, Hardwick, Littleton, Mendon, Millville, North Brookfield, Oxford, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Spencer, Templeton, Townsend, Upton and Weston.
Graduates from the Townsend Fire Department are Shayne Araujo, Nicholas Girard, Brennan Lawrence and Michael Meadows.
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 trapped in vehicle crashes. They test and maintain their equipment, ranging from self-contained breathing apparatus to hydrants, hoses, power tools, and vehicles.
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.
Graduates have completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. Upon successful completion of this program, all students have met the standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001.
In addition, they have the ability to become 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.