As a kid, Michael Cohen loved the big fire trucks, the sirens, and all of the lights.

“As I grew older and I was able to comprehend what those trucks were doing, I was drawn to the fire service even more,” he said. “It’s a noble profession, with so much history behind it. I have family members who are on the job, and I have always looked up to them, and the good that they do for so many people in times of need. I also like to help people, and that’s the heart of this profession.”

Cohen recently completed his training at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy and is a new firefighter/licensed paramedic with the Scituate Fire Department.

The fire academy provides the recruits with a solid baseline training to become a firefighter. Training is 10 weeks of non-stop learning in the classroom, and then putting those lessons into action on the fire ground where recruits drill in real fire situations, Cohen said.

“As grueling as it can be, especially when you add in the daily commute up to Stowe, it’s lots of fun. You get to meet and work with a lot of great people from your surrounding communities, and throughout Mass.”

Cohen said the sheer scope of information and skills that is taught in the 10 weeks is massive.

“And it’s understandable why the pace is so relentless. They have so much to teach recruits and so little time, every moment you spend at the academy is spent doing something productive.”

Overall, Cohen said he had a great experience at the academy.

“I loved learning the skills that I will be using moving forward in my career at Scituate Fire,” he said. “And the bonds I made with my fellow recruits and instructors are ones I intend to maintain.”

In each graduating class there is a top recruit named for their overall scoring in the classroom and in the hands-on evolutions, Scituate Fire Chief John Murphy said.

“Michael was named the top recruit in his class and represented the Town of Scituate Fire Department with dignity and pride. Congratulations, Michael, and welcome aboard.”

The most difficult part of firefighter training is the huge variety of skills that a recruit needs to master, Cohen said.

“Everything you do has to be second nature so that in the middle of the night, or under very stressful conditions, you are able to act on instinct and get the job done,” he said. “Many situations that firefighters work in are dangerous, and to keep myself, my fellow firefighters, and the public safe, it’s imperative to constantly be learning and bettering myself physically and mentally so that when the time comes I am prepared.”

Cohen said he will be involved in all aspects of EMS and firefighting emergencies.

“I have a lot more learning ahead of me,” he said. “I need to know the SFD operating procedures, street locations and hydrant locations like the back of my hand. Everything needs to be muscle memory, so that at 2 a.m. on an emergency call, I can function without hesitating and be a productive and efficient member of the team.”

Cohen will continue his training every day he works for the rest of his career as every other firefighter does, Murphy said.

“You never stop learning.”

Cohen grew up in Sharon and spent a large part of his summers in Marshfield and Hull.

“When my wife and I were considering where to buy a home, we knew it would be on the South Shore and ended up in Norwell,” he said. “I love this area, and have spent many good times over the years in Scituate.”

He attended UMass Amherst and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in urban forestry, and an associate’s degree in landscape construction.

“I am honored to join the Scituate Fire Department and to serve the community of Scituate,” Cohen said. “I enjoy being able to go to a job where at the end of each day I can say I made a difference, that I helped someone out when they were in need. I also love the fact that no two days are the same. I look forward to getting to know the individuals that make it such a great town. Feel free to stop me and say, ‘hello.’”

Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth.