Watertown Firefighter Graduates from Mass. Fire Academy

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Watertown Firefighter Cory Donahue, left, graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy’s training course on Friday. He is pictured with Watertown Fire Chief Bob Quinn.

Watertown Fire Chief Robert Quinn announced that firefighter Cory Donahue graduated from the Massachusetts Fire Academy’s 10-week training program.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security Department of Fire Services provided the following announcement about the graduation and Firefighting Academy course:

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA) Director David C. Evans announced the graduation of the 275th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s 50-day Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program on August 9, 2019.

“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA), a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program tuition-free. The ceremony took place at the Department of Fire Services in Stow, Mass.

37 Graduates from 23 Fire Departments

The 37 graduates, two women and 35 men, represent the 23 fire departments of Beverly, Canton, Easton, Fairhaven, Foxborough, Gloucester, Holden, Hopkinton, Mansfield, Medfield, Methuen, Milford, Nahant, Norwood, Reading, Saugus, Scituate, Seekonk, Swampscott, Watertown, Westborough, Westwood and Winchester.

Guest Speaker: Retired Wayland Fire Chief

Retired Chief Loomer celebrated his 50th year in the fire service, which began in 1969 as a call firefighter in Maynard. He rose through the ranks and later became chief of the Wayland Fire Department before retiring in 2012. Chief Loomer has a degree in Fire Protection and Industrial Safety from Oklahoma State University and is a graduate of the MFA Career Recruit Firefighter Class #24. For 42 years, Loomer has held a variety of teaching and leadership assignments at the MFA. He spoke to the recruits on the many ways they can prepare for a successful career in the fire service.

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, contain and control fires. They receive training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques, and rappelling. The intensive, ten-week program for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training, and live firefighting practice.

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.

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