Two Haverhill firefighters were among 16 graduates from seven fire departments to graduate Friday from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s 50-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program.
Charles Damp and Michael Foustoukos trained at the Stow campus. Besides Haverhill, other departments represented in the class were Acton, Lynnfield, Malden, Plymouth, Watertown and Westborough.
“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, a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers the program tuition-free.
The Academy emphasizes that “Today’s firefighters do far more than fight fires. They train to respond to all types of hazards and emergencies. They are the first ones called to respond to chemical and environmental emergencies, ranging from the suspected presence of carbon monoxide to Fentanyl overdoses or 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.”
“First responders are on the frontlines protecting their communities and these newest firefighters are needed now more than ever. We have taken advantage of technology, reduced class size for social distancing, implemented daily screening and required mask-wearing to keep our instructors and students as safe as possible during these uncertain times,” said Deputy State Fire Marshal Maribel Fournier who is serving as the Academy’s director.