Sept. 16 - Good News: Received word that John and Barbara Corbett are okay following Irma's wrath. They returned to their home in Punts Gorda yesterday to find only a little damage. They appreciated everyone's concern.
We would like to hear from our other Florida members when they once again have the ability to email.
By the late 1970s, inflation was skyrocketing nationwide and the town was stalling in contract neogotiations with the Hamden Paid Firemen’s Sick Benefit Association, the firefighters’ bargaining unit since the 1960s.
In 1978, non-management department personnel formed the Hamden Firefighters’ Association (HFA). Finally, after working without a raise for nearly two years, and with the town still stalling on negotiations, the HFA members voted overwhelmingly to join the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF).
In March 1979, the Hamden Professional Firefighters Association, Local 2687 became the rank and file’s official bargaining unit. Firefighter John Corbett was elected the local’s first president.
Local 2687 Charter - March 19, 1979 (CLICK to enlarge)
38 Years Ago
September 17, 1979 - Hamden Firefighters Protest Town's Intransigence
It's hard to imagine today, but in the late 1970s the economy was stagnant and rampant inflation was running at a crazy annual rate of 14%. Many private sector employees were getting annual raises in double-digit percentages. Municipal public safety employees, however, were getting raises in the low single digits - if they got any raises at all.
By late September 1979 Hamden firefighters hadn't received a raise in over two years and were well into their second year without a contract. Despite the union's attempts to negotiate in good faith, the current administration was not "into" negotiating.
On Monday, September 17, 1979, armed with picket signs, dozens of members of the newly-organized Hamden Professional Firefighters, Local 2687, IAFF, hit the sidewalks in front of Memorial Town Hall. When the town hall closed at five o'clock, picketing resumed in front of the mayor's new campaign headquarters in Highwood, which opened that night. November saw the election of Hamden's fourth mayor, Richard Harris.
Originally posted 9/14/10
Paul Petrillo, Bill Coppola and Harry Cubbellotti were among dozens of Hamden firefighters picketing town hall. (Dan Satran photo from the New Haven Journal-Courier courtesy of Paul Petrillo) - CLICK to enlarge
Frank Kafka, John Corbett, Bob Macauley, Dave Johnson and Wayne Lowry on the picket line at town hall. (New Haven Register staff photo by Patricia G. Barnes) - CLICK to enlarge
The featured apparatus at this year's Engine 260 Muster on September 9th was an American LaFrance 600 g.p.m. triple combination pumper and chemical truck, purchased in 1925 by the Phoenix Engine Co. in Middletown, New York. It was later sold as a novelty to a Cape Cod restaurant.
In 1960, the pumper was rescued from a trip to the junkyard by North Haven's West Ridge Volunteer Fire Company, which drove it in local parades during the 1960s and 70s. This photo was snapped at Hamden's 1969 Memorial Day Parade.
To coincide with North Haven's hosting of the Connecticut State Firefighters' Convention in 2012, members of West Ridge began a meticulous restoration of the pumper, including relettering it with the original Phoenix Engine Co. name. The result was outstanding.
Better than "Showroom New"
Original 1925 Factory Photo
The 2012 restoration included the original 1925 lettering for Middletown, New York's Phoenix Engine Co.
Until the early 1930s, most American-LaFrance, Seagrave and Ahrens-Fox apparatus were right-hand-drive, making it easier for the driver to "spot" hydrants.
Below is a small sampler of some of the other vintage fire apparatus at the 46th Annual Engine 260 Fire Muster. CLICK on any image to enlarge to 1200 pixels wide.
Mahopac, New York's Oren pumper
North Haven - West Ridge's 1951 Mack. Like Hamden, North Haven dabbled with white in the 1950s.
Meshanticut Vol. Fire Co. - Cranston, RI
This gem was also at Engine 260 last Saturday. According to Walter McCall's 1975 book, American Fire Engines Since 1900, this 1910 American-LaFrance "Type 5 Combination Chemical and Hose Car," delivered to Lenox, Massachuetts on August 27, 1910, was the manufacturer's first motorized fire apparatus, It carried Serial No. 1.
Lenox's 107-year old "chemical car" was American-LaFrance's FIRST motorized fire engine - looks new! (CLICK to enlarge)