Onset firefighters receive state training

Nov 6, 2023

Call firefighters from the Onset Fire Department have graduated from a training program offered by the Massachusetts Fire Academy. 

They graduated among a class of 25 firefighters from various towns along the South Coast in a ceremony held at Matthew J. Kuss Middle School in Fall River on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The eight Onset firefighters who graduated are: Matthew Blanchard, Hannah Burton, Michael Crump, Cole Delveccio, Alec Joyce, Anthony Kent, Jennamarie Klemp and Philip Malouin IV. 

“It’s a great benefit to us and the fire district,” said Onset Fire Department Fire Chief Jeffery Osswald. 

“We’re a combination department—call and career—so we rely heavily on our call firefighters” for the department to work efficiently, Osswald added. 

Osswald said the department uses the state fire academy for training to get its call firefighters to a basic level of proficiency, to avoid over-relying on its own trainers, and it will have another eight members starting the program in a few months. 

The program, called the Call / Volunteer Recruit Firefighter Training Program, provides firefighters with a level of training that meets national standards. It is held on nights and weekends so firefighters in suburban and rural areas can fit it into their schedules. 

Recruits receive training from certified fire instructors, preparing them to handle all of the emergencies to which they might be called. They receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills, including the latest science on fire behavior and suppression tactics, as well as more specialized training. 

To graduate, students must receive 240 hours of training, and show their skills in the areas of life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply and fire attack.

Any residents of the Onset Fire District who are interested in becoming firefighters can come down to the station, said Osswald.