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STOW, Mass. (WWLP) – The 210th Class of the Mass. Firefighting Academy’s 45-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program has been announced.
On April 11th, the 23 graduates represent the 15 fire departments of Dennis, Holyoke, Lakeville, Longmeadow, Mansfield, Newton, North Andover, Northampton, Norwell, Stoughton, Tewksbury, Walpole, Wayland, Wilmington and Yarmouth.
According to Jennifer Mieth of the Department of Fire Services, State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director Shawn P. Murray announced the graduation.
“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” Coan said.
Mieth said today’s firefighters do far more than fight fires, they are the first ones called to respond to chemical and environmental emergencies, rescue a child who has fallen through the ice, and rescue people from stalled elevators and those who are trapped in vehicle crashes.
The guest speaker was former Deputy State Fire Marshal Tom Leonard, who rose up the ranks of the Mansfield Fire Department from call firefighter to fire chief.
Starting with Class #200, the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy changed its training format from 72 students in a 12-week program to a smaller class size of 24 students that starts every three weeks. There are still 72 students on campus at any one time, but the smaller class size is expected to achieve time efficiencies without compromising learning, and in fact improve education with smaller student/instructor ratios.