4 academy graduates join city firefighters, including first African American

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Deputy State Fire Marshal Maribel Fournier announced the graduation of 39 firefighters from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA).

Four join the Arlington Fire Department. They are, from left to right in the photo, Justin Brown, Matthew Shea, Daniel Jefferson and Stephen Leveroni. Brown is the city’s first African-American firefighter and Jefferson is the son of retired chief Bob Jefferson, Chief Kevin Kelley confirmed.

The June 24 graduates completed the 50-day career firefighting training program at two campuses: Class No. 302, including those from Arlington, trained at the Stow campus, and Class No. BW20 formed at the Bridgewater campus.

“First responders are on the front lines protecting their communities, and these new firefighters are needed more than ever,” Ostroskey said in a June 24 news release.

“The rigorous job training they received provides them with the physical, mental and technical skills necessary to perform their jobs safely and effectively.

Stow’s class included 23 graduates from these 11 departments: Arlington, Attleboro, Chelsea, Concord, Fitchburg, Lexington, Medway, North Andover, Tewksbury, Watertown, and Westwood.

The Bridgewater class included 16 graduates from these 11 departments: Attleboro, Brewster, Cambridge, Canton, Foxborough, Hull, Orleans, Sandwich, Walpole, Waltham and Yarmouth.

Basic skills of firefighters

Students receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills. They practice first in no fire conditions and then in 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 multi-story or multi-room structure fires.

Upon successful completion of the recruit program, all students have met National Fire Protection Association 1001 national standards and are certified at Firefighter Level I and II, and Hazardous Materials First Responder Operational Level by the Massachusetts Fire Training Council, which is accredited by the National Board of Professional Qualifications for the Fire Service.

Today’s firefighters do much more than fight fires. They are trained to respond to all types of hazards and emergencies. They are the first called to respond to chemical and environmental emergencies, ranging from the suspected presence of carbon monoxide to overdoses of Fentanyl or a gas leak. They can be called upon to rescue a child who has fallen through the ice or locked themselves in a bathroom. They rescue people from broken elevators and those trapped in vehicle accidents. They test and maintain their equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), hydrants, hoses, power tools, and appliances.

At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, they learn all of these skills and more, including the latest science in fire behavior and suppression tactics, from certified firefighting instructors. They also receive training in public fire education, hazmat incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management and self-rescue techniques. The intensive 10-week program for municipal firefighters includes classroom instruction, physical training, firefighter skills training, and real-world firefighting practice.

The MFA, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, offers recruit and on-the-job training at three separate campuses and has graduated nearly 14,000 recruited, conscripted and volunteer firefighters in more than 430 classes.


June 21, 2022: A fire qualified as suspicious strikes the presbytery of the Greek church; public advice sought

This new announcement was published on Saturday, June 25, 2022.

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