The 3rd Annual Firemen's Field Day at Brookvale Park
From 1964 until the mid-1970s, Hamden Fire Department career and volunteer personnel, along with their families, joined together in some friendly competition in the Annual Firemen's Field Day at Brooksvale Park. Usually held on the second Sunday of June, the field day was a relaxing afternoon of hot dogs, hamburgers, and soda that included some spirited events like the bucket brigade, hose laying, ladder climb, midnight alarm and horseshoes. The wives and ladies' auxiliaries participated too. Trophies were awarded for first, second and third place in all events.
The annual field days lasted for about ten years. Years later, one final field day for the career and volunteer companies was held at Quinnipiac College in conjunction with the May 1986 Hamden Bicentennial Celebration.
The photos below are from the June 12, 1966 field day, when all participants were treated to an unexpected final event, for which no trophies were awarded.
Sunday, June 12, 1966 - One of five events was the Hose Laying Contest. Engine 5 and Rescue 2 can be seen in the background. (Photo by Ed Doiron, Sr.)
June 12, 1966 - The Bucket Brigade. The object was to fill a 55 gallon drum until the inflated ball inside floated over the top. (Photo by Ed Doiron, Sr.)
June 12, 1966 - The "paid" department's old Platoon One was well represented, too. L-R: Capt. Francis Leddy, Ff. Jerold Bradbury, Lt. Joe McDermott, Ff. Bill Davin (in hat), Ff. Russ Smith, and Ff. Ed Doiron. (Photo by Stan Brown courtesy of Joe McDermott)
And then, just as the festivities were winding down . . .
From the New Haven Journal-Courier, Monday, June 13, 1966. (Courtesy of Gil Spencer) All color photos by Ed Doiron, Sr.
New Haven Register, Tuesday, June 14, 1966
Advertisement for the Connecticut Doughnut Company from the 1965 edition of "The Venture," yearbook of Hamden High School
Today, the General Rental Center at 3800 Whitney Avenue, and Smokey's at 3810 Whitney Avenue, both occupy the site of the old Connecticut Doughnut Company building.
35 Years Ago!
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This is how Station 3 looked on June 9, 1978, when it was not quite eight years old. Engine 3 occupied the left bay, Truck 2 the middle bay, and Car 30 (now Car 3) the right bay. At the time, Car 30 was a red 1977 Plymouth station wagon. The Red Cross boat, acquired by the Department in 1948, can be seen behind the ladder truck.
The original front of the building was encrusted with small pebbles. About ten years after this photo was taken, the front of the station was rebuilt following an accident that took down the pillar between the left and middle bays. For several months thereafter the apparatus exited through the rear bay doors. A new facade made of brick featured a larger middle bay opening, which allowed the station to accommodate the two tower aerial ladder trucks that were stationed there from 1991 on.
40 Years Ago!
Before the HFD organized a Mountain Rescue Team in 1976, would-be mountain climbers still had to be rescued off the Sleeping Giant. Forty years ago this week, Sleeping Giant Park ranger Tim Steele, who was also a member of Volunteer Co. 5, rescued a 12-year old from the quarry face without benefit of the sophisticated gear used today. Ff. Ed. Doiron of Engine 5 is pictured in the lower photo below, leading the boy to level ground.
New Haven Register, Sunday, June 3, 1973 (Courtesy of Gil Spencer)
65 Years Ago!
Hamden Chronicle article courtesy of the Hamden Historical Society
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR FALL 2013
Have fun while making a difference. Experience Corps needs people age 50+ to tutor literacy in Hamden and New Haven elementary schools 10+ hours a week starting in October. Training is provided. Volunteers also participate in fun community events to encourage reading. A small stipend and college tuition/loan help for a child or grandchild provided. You must have a high school diploma or GED and be able to pass a background check via fingerprints. Interested? Call Sheila at 203-752-3059 x2900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Experience Corps - Greater New Haven is a program of the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut and a proud member of the National Service Network. For more information, please visitwww.experiencecorps.org
Sheila Greenstein, AARP Experience Corps Program Manager