May 6 2015

Burlington Fire Department Welcomes New Member

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Fire Department has a new member in its ranks. 

Fire Chief Steve Yetman announced this week that Burlington resident Brandon Gonzalez was among 25 recent graduates of the Massachusetts Fire Academy (MFA). 

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director George Kramlinger announced the graduation of the 227th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s forty-five-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program on May 1, 2015. 

“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” said Coan. 

The Massachusetts Firefighting Academy, a division of the Department of Fire Services, offers this program, tuition-free. The ceremony took place at the Department of Fire Services in Stow. 

Yetman said that new firefighter Gonzalez is a Burlington resident with Associates and Bachelor’s degrees from both North Shore Community and Westfield State. He is also a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). He will be working days the next few weeks for orientation and additional training before being assigned to a shift.


At the academy students receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills, a release states. 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. Upon successful completion of the Recruit Program all students have met national standards of National Fire Protection Association 1001 and are certified to the level of Firefighter I and II, and Hazardous Materials First Responder Operational Level by the Massachusetts Fire Training Council, which is accredited by the National Board on Fire Service Professional Qualifications.


The training goes beyond putting out fires. 


“Today’s firefighters do far more than fight fires,” the release states. “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 (SCBA), hydrants, hoses, power tools, and apparatus.”

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