STOW, Mass. — Men from Holden, Shrewsbury and Westborough were members of the 197th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s 60-Day Recruit Firefighting Program.
Among the 69 graduates were David A. Grasso of Westborough, Derek G. Hirons of Holden and Sean M. Simpson of Shrewsbury. They graduated Dec. 21, said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director Edmund M. Walker.
The guest speaker was Worcester Firefighter David Ryan, who responded to the Dec. 8, 2011, blaze that took the life of Worcester Firefighter Jon Davies Sr. and trapped and injured Firefighter Brian Carroll. Ryan is also an instructor at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy.
Students received classroom training in all basic firefighter skills. They practiced first under non-fire conditions and then during controlled fire conditions. Upon successful completion of the 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.
“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” said Coan.