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January 31, 2015
What's New at IAFF 1693
Holyoke Firefighters Graduate from MFA

Holyoke Firefighters Local 1693 would like to congratulate our six newest members on their graduation from the Masachusetts Fire Academy.

Today’s Firefighters Do Far More than Fight Fires

Today’s firefighters do far more than fight fires. 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.

At the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy they learn all these skills and more from certified fire instructors who are also experienced firefighters. Students learn all the basic skills they need to respond to fires and to contain and control them. They are also given training in public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques, and rappelling. The intensive, 9-week program for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, firefighter skills training and live firefighting practice.

Basic Firefighter Skills

Students receive classroom training in all basic firefighter skills. 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.

Press Release Concerning Brown Outs

Holyoke Firefighters Association

Local 1693-I.A.F.F., AFL-CIO

P.O. Box 1159, Holyoke, MA 01040

For immediate release: 

December 4th, 2014

The City of Holyoke has informed Holyoke Firefighters I.A.F.F. Local 1693, that starting December 4th, 2014 at 700 A.M. the Deputy Aide, Engine #2, Tactical Unit 1 and Tactical Unit 2 will be “browned-out” due to a shortfall in the budget.  A “brown-out” occurs when a piece of apparatus is temporarily taken out of service when minimal staffing levels are not maintained. These cuts in service will affect the safety of the public and members of the Holyoke Fire Department.  

The “browning-out” of Engine 2 will not only affect South Holyoke and the Elmwood area, but all of downtown Holyoke, as it will only be covered by one Engine Company. The two tactical units are licensed as class 5 ambulances; which carry lifesaving equipment and medication for many critical life emergencies such as diabetic emergencies, allergic reactions, heart attacks and drug overdoses.  When seconds count, longer response times could mean the difference between life and death.  

This change will not only affect fire and emergency response times, but will also have an effect on the City’s Fire Suppression Rating Schedule set by Insurance Services Office of Boston Ma. This rating is used by the insurance industry in setting property insurance rates. Just what effect this may have on rates is unclear, but there may be an increase in the cost of property insurance.   

 Holyoke is unique in the fact that it has buildings to support a population of over 70,000, many of which remain abandoned today. The City’s failure to appropriate proper funding or maintain the proper staffing levels has put Holyoke residents’ safety in jeopardy; along with the safety of the City’s firefighters. We implore City Officials to restore the proper funding immediately. 

Download: E-2 Brownout Sign.pdf
2014 Awards Ceremony

The Holyoke Fire Department held its 2014 Awards Ceremony on Thursday November 13th at Holyoke Fire Headquarters. This is the second Awards Ceremony the department has held and is now an annual tradition. The Holyoke Firefighters Local 1693 would like to congratulate the following award winners.

2014 Arthur J. Petit Jr, Memorial Award

FF Ronald A Deroy

2014 Daniel Boyle Memorial Award

Jennie M. McGiverin

Distinguished Service Awards

Captain Joseph Beaulieu

Lieutenant Thomas Paquin

Lieutenant Maria Pelchar

Firefighter Jordan Lemieux 

Click here for images from the ceremony

HFD Receives New Rescue Boat

The Holyoke Fire Department just received our new rescue boat. "Marine 1" is another tool for our multifaceted, well trained firefighters to continue preserving life and property in the City of Holyoke. 

This boat is used for rescues in all the various bodies of water in the city. The new "Marine 1" is a 2014 Crestliner V17 flat bottom 17 foot boat with a 60 horse power Mercury motor. Crews have already begun training on it and the feedback is great!



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