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Three Swansea Firefighters Graduate From Massachusetts Firefighting Academy

Three Swansea Firefighters Graduate From Massachusetts Firefighting Academy

SWANSEA — Chief Eric Hajder is pleased to report that three Swansea firefighters recently graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA).


Richard Albernaz from Station 1, Bruce Katz from Station 2, and Landon Rowe from Station 4 were among 32 graduating firefighters of Call/Volunteer Recruit Class #111. Graduates received certificates of completion at a ceremony held at Bridgewater State University.


Students receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills. They practice first under non-fire conditions and then during 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 multiple-floor or multiple-room structural fires.


Graduates have completed 240 hours of training on nights and weekends. Upon successful completion of this program, all students will have met the standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001.


“I am incredibly proud to welcome these three firefighters to our department,” Chief Hajder said. “I look forward to seeing them work alongside our team and I commend their devotion to serving our community.”


“Massachusetts firefighters are on the frontlines protecting their communities every day, and today’s graduates are needed now more than ever,” added State Fire Marshal Jon M. Davine. “The hundreds of hours of foundational training they’ve received will provide them with the physical, mental, and technical skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely.”

About the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy
At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, recruits learn a variety of skills on how to respond to all types of hazards and emergencies, including the latest science of fire behavior and suppression tactics from certified fire instructors. Firefighters also receive training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management and self-rescue techniques. The intensive program involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training, and live firefighting practice.


The graduates of Call/Volunteer Class #111 from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (Photo Courtesy Massachusetts Firefighting Academy)

Swansea Fire Department Receives $19,000 Grant for Firefighter Safety Equipment

Swansea Fire Department Receives $19,000 Grant for Firefighter Safety Equipment

SWANSEA— Chief Eric Hajder is pleased to report that the Swansea Fire Department received a $19,000 grant from the Department of Fire Services Fiscal Year 2024 Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant Program.

The Swansea Fire Department will use the funding to purchase in-cab communications systems to enhance communications and protect firefighters from the damaging noise encountered while responding to fires.

The wireless headset system will improve the ability of firefighters and officers to communicate critical information during emergency responses. The system will integrate with the apparatus radio system to help ensure no vital information from dispatch is missed. The headsets will also allow drivers and operators to perform their on-scene tasks while maintaining radio contact.

Fire departments across Massachusetts were invited to apply to the Firefighter Safety Equipment Grant program, which provides reimbursement on purchases of 135 different types of eligible equipment. Eligible items include hoses and nozzles, turnout gear, ballistic protective equipment, gear washers and dryers, thermal imaging cameras, hand tools and extrication equipment, communications resources, hazardous gas meters, and more. In many cases, the purchase of this equipment will help departments attain compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Administration or National Fire Protection Association safety standards. This is the fourth year that funding has been awarded through the program.

“The Firefighter Safety Equipment Grants are an investment in the health and safety of Massachusetts firefighters,” said State Fire Marshal Jon Davine. “The flexibility of the program is especially valuable because it allows each department to make purchases based on their specific needs and resources. It has become a vital part of the way the Massachusetts fire service prepares for the constantly evolving threats in the world around us.”