Local firefighters set to graduate

  • Northampton firefighters work a fire. The department will welcome two of its firefighters back after their graduation this week. GAZETTE STAFF/File Photo

Published: 6/20/2017 9:29:34 AM

After 10 long weeks, the newest class of career firefighters are set to graduate from the state’s Department of Fire Services firefighting academy in Springfield.

Following graduation, the firefighters will head to departments in Easthampton, Northampton, Chicopee, Greenfield, Ludlow,  Springfield, West Springfield and Westfield.

Jonathan Schwaiger, of Goshen, and Hannah Eisenstein, of Pelham, will return to the Northampton Fire Department following graduation.

Deputy Chief William Millin said the two had been working for the department for six months to a year before they went to the academy.

Millin said the department was excited for their graduation and happy to have them back.

Easthampton Fire Chief David Mottor said his department has one graduate – Tyler Struthers of Easthampton.

Struthers started with the department full time in November 2016 and, prior to that, served as an on-call firefighter, Mottor said.

“We are proud of him, especially being there this time of year with the weather we’ve had, it can be quite demanding,” Mottor said. “The academic course load can be pretty rigorous.”

Mottor said Struthers’ return to the department will be a “welcome relief” as they will have one more person to help with staffing. That relief will be short lived, though. Another firefighter will start at the academy in July, Mottor said.

The ceremony takes place 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Department of Fire Services, 100 Grochmal Road in Springfield. Greenfield Fire Chief Robert Strahan will be the guest speaker.

The Associated Press reported that about 20 men and women comprise the graduating class.

Emily Cutts can bereached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.

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