Submitted by John Guilfoil on behalf of the Bedford Fire Department

Bedford firefighter Erik Smallenburger graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy at the Department of Fire Services in Stow on January 15. (Courtesy Photo)

Fire Chief David Grunes is pleased to announce that firefighter and paramedic Erik Smallenburger recently graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow.

Smallenburger is one of 24 graduates from the 238th class of the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s 45-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program.

The 26-year-old Bedford native is the fourth new paramedic to join the Bedford Fire Department in recent months. He will assist the department with its transition from basic life support services to advanced life support care.

“Firefighter Smallenburger is a tremendous resource for our department and the Bedford community,” Chief Grunes said. “We congratulate him on this accomplishment and look forward to watching him grow in his career as both a firefighter and paramedic.”

The intensive nine-week state firefighting academy for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, skills training and live firefighting practice.

Firefighters learned the basic skills they need to respond to fires including how to contain and control them, public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques and rappelling.

To graduate, firefighters were required to demonstrate proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation and fire attack (ranging from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multi-room structural fires).

“This rigorous professional training provides our newest firefighters with the basic skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan in a statement.

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