By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Connor Jordan, Craig Mawdsley, Mike Penney and Alex Milosz were recently hired as full time firefighters through a grant that the Shrewsbury Fire Department received last fall through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program.
On Jan. 17, they were in the middle of two weeks of training during orientation. Training took place at the Shrewsbury Fire Department Headquarters, 11 Church Rd
Fire Chief Jim Vuona said that he thinks this is an outstanding group of new firefighters.
“We are excited to have them aboard. They all worked for us on the call department so they’ve been with us for a few years. They put in their time as call firefighters and the have their certifications and skills,” Vuona explained. “They will be going off to the Massachusetts Firefighter Academy this summer for a ten week full-time firefighter program.”
“The first two weeks they are here we send them through a boot camp. Captain Weigold, the training officer, put that all together and they are trained to all the latest standards,” he added.
Examples of training include first responder, fire pump operations, ground skills, vehicle extrication and stabilization and emergency procedures.
There is a common thread that binds these new firefighters – excitement and service to community.
When asked what made him want to become a firefighter, Connor Jordan said, “I always wanted to be a part of the community, I’m not exactly sure when I was younger what that entailed, but it ended up leading to this and I’ve been happy ever since.”
Mawdsley and Penney shared their sentiments of excitement and service to the community.
Milosz, also a native of Shrewsbury, is following in the footsteps of his father who retired as a firefighter three years ago.
The department has also been hosting an intern from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy who is an on call firefighter in his town of Onset, Mass. A.J. Lacouture – 21, selected Shrewsbury as one of his internship assignments to fulfill his requirements.