Three Westwood Firefighter Recruits Graduate from Firefighting Academy


Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Fire Services. Westwood firefighters (from left to right) Katrina Nasuti, Michael Brown, and Julio Herrera graduated from Massachusetts Firefighting Academy on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Thanks to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services and Westwood Fire Department for contributing this news to Westwood Minute.

On Thursday, June 23, 2022, Westwood Fire Department added three new graduates from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy (MFA). Michael Brown, Julio Herrera and Katrina Nasuti completed the ten-week program at MFA's campus in Stow. The MFA, which marked its 50th anniversary last year, provides recruit and in-service training at its campuses in Stow, Springfield and Bridgewater.

The three Westwood firefighters graduated alongside twenty other recruits from fire departments of Arlington, Attleboro, Chelsea, Concord, Fitchburg, Lexington, Medway, North Andover, Tewksbury, Watertown.

Photo courtesy of Massachusetts Department of Fire Services. Westwood Fire Department's three newest graduates are pictured here with the other members of their graduating class.

“First responders are on the frontlines protecting their communities, and these newest firefighters are needed now more than ever,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “The rigorous professional training they’ve received provides them with the physical, mental, and technical skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely.”

As students at MFA, the firefighters trained under non-fire conditions and then during controlled fire conditions. To graduate, they demonstrated 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. 

Westwood's newest firefighter graduates were instructed in the latest science of fire behavior and suppression tactics, from certified fire instructors. They also received training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management,  self-rescue techniques and live firefighting practice.

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 (SCBA), hydrants, hoses, power tools, and apparatus.

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