From The Hamden Chronicle, Thursday, September 10, 1953:
Red Cross Vehicle Serves Double Purpose
Not a real emergency but it could be. After taking delivery of a new station wagon recently, the Hamden Branch of the American Red Cross demonstrates the use to which it could be put. The vehicle is intended primarily for the use of the Red Cross, but officials have announced that it is available to the Hamden Police and Fire Departments for use as an ambulance in emergencies. Here Fireman Robert Williams plays the part of an accident victim while Firemen Robert O'Donnell, Burton C. Hillocks and David Howe prepare to put the "victim" into the ambulance. Looking on at the left are Fire Chief Raymond C. Spencer and Mrs. Seymour Page of the Red Cross.
The Hamden Chronicle, September 10, 1953 (Photo by I.A. Sneiderman)
The Hamden Chronicle, September 4, 1952
Chief Spencer and His Cigars
When we spotted this item in a 1952 edition of The Hamden Chronicle, we knew it was time to finally relate a true story - yes, it is TRUE! - about Chief Spencer, a cigar, and a guy named Fred. Enjoy!
Joe Rahl had just finished his night shift at Headquarters. He was relieved by Fred, who was coming in to work on the day shift.
Just before leaving the station, and ever the prankster, Joe handed three special cigars to unsuspecting Fred.
Fred carefully slipped Joe's gift cigars into his breast pocket, saving them for after lunch.
Chief Spencer, a well-known cigar lover himself, arrived at Headquarters just before lunch to deliver the weekly paychecks.
Never missing an opportunity to ingratiate himself to the boss, Fred pulled one of Joe's cigars from his breast pocket. "Here, Chief, have one of these."
The Chief smiled and graciously took Fred's cigar, lighting it up in the car as he pulled out of Headquarters on his way to Station 2.
They say that Chief Spencer was puffing away on Fred's cigar at the traffic light in front of the high school when . . .
We've been told that the Chief was pissed off, mostly because he had to get out of his car to brush the hot ashes off his uniform in front of a bunch of kids waiting for the bus.
August 10, 2002 - Firefighters Austin "Augie" Williams, Roberta Angiletta, Harold Mangler, Joe Anderson, Lt. Sam DeBurra and B/C John Spencer (Photo by Bob Mordecai)
50 Years Ago!
In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, the Hamden Fire Department had at least one softball team (sometimes two!) in the Greater New Haven Firemen's Softball League. This end of the season photo was taken at Montewese in September 1963, in which at least four Hamden firefighters can be identified. Can any others be named? Let us know. (CLICK to enlarge)
Sal "Cookie" Ferraro and George Reutenauer (top row, first and second from left). Art Heriot (3rd row, last guy on left). John O'Hare (2nd row, second from left). Photo courtesy of John O'Hare.
September 1963 - CLICK to enlarge
MAY 1939 - 1938 Diamond-T Squad e/w 150 GPM pump and 1938 Seagrave Canopy Cab 600 GPM pumper. L-R: Roland Ruwet, 1st Asst. Chief Raymond C. Spencer, Joseph Dukat, and Robert Reutenauer
Firefighter Gerald R. Wolf (1927-2013)
Firefighter Gerald R. Wolf
(1927 - 2013)
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of retired Hamden firefighter and HFRA member Gerald "Jerry" Wolf on August 30th. Jerry served on the Hamden Fire Department from 1957 until his retirement in 1991.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 62 years, Laura Wetmore Wolf, his son John Wolf of Hamden, and his daughter Linda Campagna and husband Thomas of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and five grandchildren.
Jerry's Funeral Service took place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, at Beecher and Bennett followed by burial with military honors at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Contributions in Jerry's memory may be sent to Shriner's Hospital for Children, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104.