Local Firefighter Graduates from State Firefighting Academy
STOW -- Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director David C. Evans announced the graduation of the 268th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s 50-day Career Recruit Firefighter Training Program, which included a new first responder for the Fitchburg Fire Department.
The FPD’s graduate is Connor Griffin and he has been assigned to the Rescue No. 3 crew.
“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program tuition-free.
The guest speaker was retired Lawrence Fire Chief Joseph “Larry” Marquis. He joined the Lawrence Fire Department in 1977, rose through the ranks and became chief in 2003 before retiring in 2006 as chief and emergency management director. Before joining the fire service, he served two years in the U.S. Navy and later was in both the Navy Reserves and Army Reserves.
There 38 graduates in Griffin’s class, all men, who represent the 28 fire departments of Acton, Burlington, Canton, Chelsea, Danvers, East Bridgewater, Fairhaven, Fitchburg, Gardner, Gloucester, Hanover, Haverhill, Hingham, Hopkinton, Maynard, Methuen, Newton, North Andover, Norwell, Randolph, Scituate, Seekonk, Walpole, Wayland, Wellfleet, West Bridgewater, Westford, and Weymouth.
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, hydrants, hoses, power tools, and apparatus.
At the state’s 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.