SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Firefighter recruits from across the state graduated from the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy(MFA) Friday in Springfield.

Twenty-eight firefighters completed the MFA’s 50-day Career Recruit Firefighting Training Program at MFA’s Springfield Campus. They received both classroom instruction and practice in live firefighting, and are trained in the latest science of fire behavior and suppression tactics, from certified fire instructors.

To graduate, students must be skilled in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation, and fire attack. Graduates meet the 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.

“First responders are on the frontlines protecting their communities, and these newest firefighters are needed now more than ever,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “The rigorous professional training they’ve received provides them with the physical, mental, and technical skills to perform their jobs effectively and safely.”

The recruits represent the fire departments of Agawam, Amherst, Belchertown, Chelsea, Chicopee, Dudley, Holyoke, Ludlow, Natick, North Adams, Northampton, Northbridge, Pittsfield, Southbridge, Turners Falls, Westfield, and Westminster.