8 Franklin County firefighters earn certificates of completion

  • The Franklin County graduates of the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighting Training Class No. 79. The graduation ceremony was held in Springfield on Oct. 30. Back row, left to right, Sunderland firefighters Joshua Manheim and John Sullivan, Hadley firefighter Liam Higgins, Orange firefighter Nathaniel O’Lari and Leverett firefighter Torsten Bidwell. Front row, left to right, Shutesbury firefighter Jonah Meyer, Sunderland firefighter Timothy Gochinski, New Salem firefighter Michael Sorenson and Charlemont firefighter Ryan Martin. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

  • Orange Fire Chief James Young, firefighter Nathaniel O’Lari and Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. O’Lari graduated from the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighting Training Class No. 79, and was one of eight Franklin County firefighters to do so. O’Lari is also an assistant coach of the Worcester State University’s field hockey team, and his players attended last week’s ceremony in Springfield to show their support. Courtesy photo/ORANGE FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • Left to right, New Salem Fire Chief Joseph Cuneo, firefighter Michael Sorenson, Deputy Chief Larry Eaton and Lt. Cameron Dunbar at the Oct. 30 graduation of the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighting Training Class No. 79 in Springfield. COURTESY Photo/NEW SALEM FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • Leverett firefighter Torsten Bidwell graduated from the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighting Training Class No. 79 in Springfield on Oct. 30. COURTESY Photo/LEVERETT FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • A plaque with the names of the graduates of the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighting Training Class No. 79 in Springfield on Oct. 30. COURTESY Photo/SHUTESBURY FIRE DEPARTMENT

  • Shutesbury firefighter Jonah Meyer graduated from the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighting Training Class No. 79 in Springfield on Oct. 30. COURTESY Photo/SHUTESBURY FIRE DEPARTMENT

Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2019 5:57:44 PM

Eight firefighters from Franklin County have been awarded certificates of completion as members of the Massachusetts Call/Volunteer Recruit Firefighting Training Class No. 79.

Sunderland firefighters Joshua Manheim, John Sullivan and Timothy Gochinski, Orange’s Nathaniel O’Lari, Leverett’s Torsten Bidwell, Shutesbury’s Jonah Meyer, New Salem’s Michael Sorenson and Charlemont’s Ryan Martin demonstrated proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation, and fire attack (or taking an offensive approach to battle flames). Hadley firefighter Liam Higgins also graduated from the program, according to a press release from the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey and Massachusetts Firefighting Academy Director David C. Evans presented the certificates at a ceremony at the Department of Fire Services at 100 Grochmal Ave. in Springfield on Oct. 30.

Most of the Franklin County departments posted to their Facebook pages late last week to congratulate the graduating firefighters. The graduates also included firefighters from departments in Belchertown, Blandford, Egremont, Granby, Great Barrington, Lee, Monson, New Marlborough, Southwick, Wales and Westhampton. There were 26 graduates from 18 fire departments.

“For Sunderland firefighters Sullivan, Gochinski and Manheim, a hearty congratulations go out to both them and their families from our department. The intense training and classroom work took them from July to October to complete,” Sunderland Fire Chief Steven J. Benjamin said. “​​​​​​All of the firefighters acknowledged that getting through all of these months would not have been possible without the support of their families and co-workers. Their families especially sacrificed many nights and weekends while they were in training.”

Benjamin added that those three firefighters also passed exams for Firefighter I/II and HAZMAT OLR certifications.

According to the state’s website, the Call/Volunteer Firefighter Recruit Training program delivers a standard training curriculum on nights and weekends to accommodate the schedule of firefighters in suburban and rural areas. The classroom training took place during evenings at the Springfield campus and at the South Deerfield Fire District. All practical training took place at the Springfield campus on weekends.

Participants must complete 240 hours of training to graduate.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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