Dec. 10 - Dozens of active and retired career and volunteer Hamden firefighters attended a solemn ceremony at the Hamden Government Center this morning at 11, to commemorate the 85th anniversary of the line of duty death of Centerville Co. No. 4 volunteer firefighter, Edward D. Meegan.
Hamden Mayor Scott Jackson read his proclamation making today, December 10, 2012, Edward D. Meegan Day in the Town of Hamden. The Mayor presented the proclamation to Mr. Meegan's niece and goddaughter, Mrs. Phillip (Inez Meegan) Shea of Mt. Carmel, who attended with her husband and son. An article with photos and a video of the ceremony will be posted on the weekly update this coming Friday.
Hamden Fire Retirees Association, Inc.
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Hamden Fire Department Training Officer, Capt. John O'Dea, retired at the end of November after nearly 32 years on the job. John came to the HFD after serving as a police officer with the Cheshire Police Department.
John was one of eight new recruits hired in January 1981, a group that included Firefighter Jay Connolly and Dep. Chief Bob Surprise, both of whom are still on the job. Others in that Class of January 1981 included John Longo, Harold Prescher, Tim O'Flynn, Bob Stacy and Paul Wetmore, Jr.
A truly dedicated firefighter and paramedic, John spent many years of his long career on the rescues. He was the recipient of several commendations, including a Mayor's Award presented to him and three other firefighters in 1983 for saving the life of a retired Hamden police sergeant who was in anaphylactic shock following numerous bee stings.
1983 - Mayor's Award
Following promotions to lieutenant and captain over the past dozen years, John was appointed training officer in 2010, replacing Bill Fitzmaurice on his promotion to battalion chief.
The HFRA wishes John a very long, happy and healthy retirement. Hoping to see him at the HFRA January 8th gathering at the Elks.
(All Nov. 30 photos by Lt. Joe Anderson - 1983 photo courtesy of D/C Bob Surprise)
November 30 - At Station 3 on John 's last day on the job, Ff. Jay Connolly, B/C Don LaBanca and Marshal Dennis Harrison are pictured here with John at one of several firehouse farewells. Jay and John both joined the department on January 12, 1981.
June 1974 - Rappelling off the old Centerville School
Deputy Chief Joe McDermott, Firefighter Ed Charbonneau and other members of Platoon 2 practiced rappelling off the roof of the old Centerville School in June 1974. These photos, taken by Ed Doiron, Sr., show Joe as he stepped off and descended. Joe was joined by Ed Charbonneau, who exited from a second floor window. (Any of the five photos may be enlarged with a CLICK on the image.)
Joe McDermott and Ed Charbonneau
Joe starts his descent
Ed Charbonneau exits window
When the old Centerville School closed in the early 1970s, it became home to various town offices, including those of Chief V. Paul Leddy and Marshal Bob "Bubby" O'Donnell. By 1979 Hamden's fire administrative offices had moved back to the town hall - in the basement near the vault - and the old school underwent extensive (and expensive) renovations, morphing into the present day Miller Library and Thornton Wilder Hall.
Newspaper article courtesy of Gilbert Spencer
Firefighter-Paramedic Edward Charbonneau (1939-82)
Thirty years ago, on December 4, 1982, our department was shocked and saddened when Firefighter-Paramedic Edward G. Charbonneau died sudddenly while on weekend exercises with the U.S. Army Reserve. He was 43.
A very dedicated firefighter and paramedic, Eddie Charbonneau personified the word "professionalism." He was one of Hamden's first EMTs when the program was established in 1971, and was in the first Advanced Life Support class in 1976, becoming one of Hamden's first paramedics.
Check out the 35-year old Hamden Chronicle newspaper article at right to read more about Ed and his contributions to Hamden's early EMS program.
Firefighter-Paramedic Edward Charbonneau was survived by his wife, Joan Longley Charbonneau, his daughter Amy Elizabeth, and his three sons, Edward G., Jr., Peter and David.
Ed Charbonneau was one of the first members of the department's Mountain Rescue Team. Ed is seen in the photo below with Firefighter Tom Conway (right) carrying a Stokes stretcher down the quarry at Sleeping Giant State Park during a 1981 training session.