STONEHAM — Chief Matthew Grafton is pleased to announce that three Stoneham firefighters completed the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy last week.
Firefighters Arthur Yeomalakis, Stefanie Dilendick and Andy Chabak each completed the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy’s Career Recruit Firefighter Training Class 281, along with 31 other graduates.
Firefighter Yeomelakis is a Stoneham native who graduated from Stoneham High School in 2005 before going into woodworking and later serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. As a Marine, he achieved the rank of Corporal and worked a section head issuing and receiving ammunition while stationed in California before being honorably discharged in 2012. He once again resides in Stoneham and has served as a Stoneham Police officer since 2015.
Also a Stoneham native, Firefighter Dilendick is a 2008 graduate of Arlington Catholic High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Franklin Pierce University. In 2014, she joined the U.S. Air Force, where she worked in Security Forces at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada before transferring to Hanscom Air Force Base. She achieved the rank of Senior Airman prior to her honorable discharge last June.
Both Firefighter Yeomelakis and Firefighter Dilendick have completed the Emergency Medical Technician course.
Firefighter Chabak grew up in Stoneham and graduated from Tewksbury High School in 2012. Upon his graduation, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a Low Altitude Air Defense Gunner stationed in North Carolina. He was deployed to the Mediterranean for six months between 2014-2015 and achieved the rank of Sergeant prior to being honorably discharged in 2016. In 2017, he became a certified Emergency Medical Technician.
“I commend each of these three firefighters for committing to this rigorous training program and for their dedication to serving the men and women of Stoneham,” Chief Grafton said. “First responders such as Arthur, Stefanie and Andy are on the front lines each and every day, and we are proud of their accomplishments.”
The intensive 10-week state firefighting academy for municipal firefighters involves classroom instruction, physical fitness training, skills training and live firefighting practice. Previously, the program was nine weeks, but an another week has been added to allow for additional time focused on water rescue, power saws, live fire training and Firefighter I/II practical skills.
Firefighters learned the basic skills they need to respond to fires, including how to contain and control them, public fire education, hazardous material incident mitigation, flammable liquids, stress management, confined space rescue techniques and rappelling.
To graduate, firefighters were required to demonstrate proficiency in life safety, search and rescue, ladder operations, water supply, pump operation and fire attack (ranging from mailbox fires to multiple-floor or multi-room structural fires).
The remaining recruits represent the 19 other fire departments, including: Athol, Beverly, Chelmsford, Chelsea, Concord, Danvers, Fairhaven, Fitchburg, Littleton, Lowell, Newton, Peabody, Sharon, Stow, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Wakefield, Winchester and Woburn.