Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Fire Captain Sean Lawlor is one of 36 fire service leaders from across the commonwealth who graduated from the 25th Chief Fire Officer (CFO) Program at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow Feb. 1. Surrounded by town dignitaries and family, it was a great day for Lawlor, who is one step closer to his goal of becoming a fire chief.
“I always enjoy attending graduation ceremonies at the Department of Fire Services and witnessing the training and learning progression of our selfless public safety members,” said State Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury). “Today was very special seeing a friend, and one of our terrific Shrewsbury captains, graduate from the Chief Fire Officer Program. Sean has all the qualities necessary to excel in this chief public safety role and I am thrilled that he has achieved this significant milestone in his career.”
Lawlor grew up in Shrewsbury, graduated from Shrewsbury High School in 1993 and went on to study at Bridgewater State University. He began his career as an exercise strength coach at the College of the Holy Cross before becoming a firefighter. He is married and the father of three children, ranging in age from 5 to 9.
Since joining the Fire Department 18 years ago, Lawlor has been active, taking the steps necessary and finding the needed resources to achieve his goals. He explained that this program was the next step.
“What do I need to do to prepare myself and what kind of skills do I need to have in my toolbox?” he recalled asking himself. “The chief is very proactive as far as promoting education and attending courses through the academy.”
“Captain Lawlor has worked diligently to prepare himself for additional administrative responsibilities at the Fire Department,” explained Fire Chief Jim Vuona. “He is actually the third captain currently working to complete the CFO program. We are fortunate to have so many well-trained and educated fire officers here in Shrewsbury.”
The 14-week, 112-hour course, presented in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management, is a demanding capstone course designed to provide the new chief officer with a variety of leadership and management skills essential in municipal management.
“It was an honor to represent the Board of Selectmen and be in attendance for Captain Lawlor’s graduation ceremony,” noted Shrewsbury Selectman Beth Casavant.
“The Chief Fire Officer Program is rigorous and Captain Lawlor should be very proud of his accomplishment. The residents of Shrewsbury will benefit every day from his newly acquired training and knowledge.”