It is with deep regret that we report the passing of brother fire retiree Burton C. Hillocks early Tuesday morning, September 4, 2012, in Vero Beach, Florida. He was 91. Burt's grandson, Franklin Wetmore, also of Vero Beach, reports that no funeral is planned.
Burt Hillocks was born on April 21, 1921 in Dundee, Scotland and came to the U.S. as a young boy. Burt served with distinction during World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps 8th AF, where he flew on 30 missions in a B-17 in various E.T.O. campaigns, including Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe.
Burt joined the Hamden Fire Department on September 11, 1950. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1966, and captain in 1974. Burt retired on February 18, 1981, and had resided in Florida most of the time since his retirement. Survivors include his son Bruce Hillocks of Meriden, CT; grandchildren Melissa Wetmore of Sebastian, FL and Franklin Wetmore of Vero Beach, FL.
The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association extend condolences to the Hillocks and Wetmore families.
The Grand March
The Grand March of the 1948 Annual Firemen's Ball - CLICK to enlarge
CLICK here to see IDs
Earlier this week we received an email from Sally Hines Row, daughter of Lieutenant William Hines, who served on the department from 1946 until his passing in 1979. We are grateful to Sally for sending along several photos and news articles from our department's past. The photo above was taken at the 13th Annual Firemen's Ball, held Wednesday, November 24, 1948 at Hamden's Memorial Town Hall.
The Grand March, the traditional opening of formal balls in those days, was led by Chief and Mrs. Raymond C. Spencer, Firefighter and Mrs. Emil Strain (Ball Chairman), Capt. and Mrs. Albert Purce and Capt. and Mrs. Joseph Hromadka. Click on the inset photo at left to view the IDs of the Hamden fire personnel in attendance whom we could identify. (Additions and corrections welcome.)
The annual ball, held each year until 1973, was the principal fund raiser for Hamden firefighters. The 1948 ball raised $2,785.68 for the newly formed Hamden Paid Firemen's Sick Benefit Association.
Below are Sally's dad and mom, Ff. Bill Hines and wife Ernestine (center), flanked by Ff. and Mrs. James Strain and Ff. Daniel and Mrs. Daniel Hume. More of Sally Hines Row's contributions to our history will be posted in the coming weeks. Thank you, Sally!
Firefighter and Mrs. James Strain, Firefighter and Mrs. Williams Hines and Firefighter and Mrs. Daniel Hume
September 10, 1983 - Co. 7's Vic Mitchell, John Gustafson, young Danny Wetmore and Jim Wetmore (driving) aboard Co. 7's 1918 Brockway at the Engine 260 Muster. The truck is still going strong and now sports a newer set of solid rubber tires. The 41st annual Engine 260 Muster was held Saturday, September 8th, at Eisenhower Park in Milford.
You have wisdom to share. Wehave children who need it. Experience Corps is recruiting people age 55+ to tutor literacy with children in Hamden elementary schools 10+ hours a week during the school year. No teaching or tutoring experience is necessary and training is provided.
Volunteers also participate in fun community events. You must have a high school diploma or GED and be able to pass a background check and literacy screening. Small stipend with tuition help for children or grandchildren available.
For more information, please visit www.experiencecorps.org AARP Experience Corps - Greater New Haven is a program of the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut in partnership with United Way of Greater New Haven and HamdenPublic Schools. This project is a proud member of the AmeriCorps National Service Network.
NOTE: The HFRA website welcomes the opportunity to advertise worthy programs that help members of our Hamden community.
CLICK to enlarge
CLICK to enlarge
October 1, 1975
Three vacancies occured since the previous roster: Dep. Chief Training Officer Daniel Hume reitred after 32 years of service and was replaced by Capt. Kenneth Harrington. Lt. Burton Hillocks was promoted to fill Capt. Harrington's vacancy on Platoon 2, and Ff. John Tramontano was promoted to fill Lt. Hillocks' vacancy on Platoon 4.
Also retired during this period was veteran firefighter Mario "Bucky" Serafino, who joined the department as a substitute in 1937 and became fulltime in 1942. Bucky was stationed at Mt. Carmel for many years and was a life member of the New Haven County Fire Emergency Plan.
Five-year veteran Ff. Steve Hitchcock left the department in July 1975. Steve went on to a career with the Waterbury Fire Department, where he eventually served as a company officer and championed the improvement of firefighter safety and working conditions.
Note that the four fire dispatchers are labeled as such. However, under the bargaining unit contract, "Dispatcher" was never an officially recognized fire department position. The following year, under the federally subsidized Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA), Mayor Lucien DiMeo authorized the hiring of civilian fire and police dispatchers to replace the uniformed personnel who had performed those duties for decades. Hamden's four fire dispatchers, all of them over 50 - two in their 60s - were reassigned back to engine companies.