4 recruits welcomed to Fire Department

Four AFD recuits

The Arlington Fire Department welcomes four who graduated Friday, April 29, from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy.

They are, from right, Keith Baker, Alex Santos, Albert DeSimone and John DeRosby.

"The four recruits were put through a rigorous nine week training program that provides them with the basic skills and tools they need to perform their jobs effectively and safely," said Arlington Training Captain Dan Kerr.

The state academy, a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program, tuition-free. A ceremony took place at the Department of Fire Services in Stow.

Today’s firefighters do far more than fight fires, a department news release says. 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 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.

The intensive, nine-week program for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training and live firefighting practice.

This announcement was published Friday, April 29, 2016.