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Ten make the grade, rising from recruit to firefighter

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TOWNSEND — Ten recruits passed their fire training examinations to graduate to the rank of firefighter and, surrounded by their friends and family, were honored by selectmen in the Great Hall.

The town’s newest firefighters in four months completed over 120 hours of practical and classroom training, said Townsend Fire-EMS training officer Lt. Michael Grimley at the Feb. 13 ceremony. This is the first class in some time for which all of the recruits made it through the training, he said.

“They have raised the bar for all future classes to come,” said Grimley.

Fire Chief William Donahue and Grimley spoke briefly before each of the uniformed recruits received their badges then filed into place to be sworn in by Town Clerk Daniel Murphy.

The 2006 graduating firefighters are Richard Carlson, Jeffrey Cormier, Jonathan Eggleston, EMT-Paramedics Andrew Gomes and EMT David Mazza, Alan Mattila, Eric Modica, David O’Keefe, Michael Paradis and Michael Sodano.

Members of the Board of Selectmen congratulated the group for their accomplishment.

“Thank you for your dedication and your service to the town,” said selectmen Chairman Robert Plamondon. “We appreciate it very much.”

“I just want to say thanks to our firefighters who have helped teach them and bring them along to protect the families of Townsend,” Vice Chairman Maureen Denig added.

The firefighters passed their tests — practical and written — and braved below-freezing temperatures on the evening of Feb. 1.

Once the recruits have passed their examinations, they can become certified through the Massachusetts Fire Academy, according to Grimley.

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