The HFRA is an independent, non-political social organization. And even though the HFRA does not endorse political candidates, we believe it is perfectly appropriate to inform our members and other readers that one of our own, retired Hamden firefighter Bob Anthony, is a candidate for Mayor of the Town of Hamden.
Bob served for thirteen years as president of the Hamden Professional Firefighters Association, Local 2687, IAFF. During his nearly 20-year tenure on the Hamden Retirement Board, Bob continually urged administrations of both parties to properly fund the pension plan.
Since his 2005 retirement, Bob has worked with the Uniformed Professional Firefighters Association of Connecticut and was a founding member of the Hamden Guardian Services Retirees Association, LLC, a group established last year by retired Hamden police officers and firefighters to protect the solvency of the pension fund for all Hamden retirees.
It is definitely a source of pride to know that one of your own has been tapped to run for the highest office in the town where he, and we, served. Good luck, Bob!
Remember: Wherever you live, please exercise your right to vote this coming Tuesday, November 5th.
November 1, 1970
Rev. Owen Sanderson Sworn In As a Department Chaplain
at Dedication of Station 3
CLICK on the news photo at left to read more about the dedication ceremonies of the new Station 3, including a scan of the dedication program.
The New Haven Register, Monday, November 2, 1970
Forty-three years ago, a decade of unprecedented expansion of the Hamden Fire Department culminated in the dedication of Hamden's newest (and last) new fire station, located at the corner of Ridge Road and Hartford Turnpike.
Known as "new" Station 3, the new fire station replaced the much smaller stations located at 39 Putnam Avenue and 21 Merritt Street. It was the new home to Engine 3, Engine 6, Rescue 1, and Ladder 2 (as it was called then), the town's new second aerial ladder truck company. The Deputy Chief platoon commander was also assigned there.
The dedication of new Station 3 was also an appropriate occasion on which to swear in the department's newest chaplain, Rev. Owen Sanderson of Christ Lutheran Church on Shepard Avenue.
"The Rev," as he is affectionately and respectfully known, has been a good friend and advisor to both career and volunteer department members of all religious persuasions since the 1960s. Now, 82 years of age, Rev. Sanderson is still on the job and is the only full member of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association who is not actually retired.
Lieutenant Gil Spencer is pictured here with his crew of five firefighters by Engine 4, the department's new 1,000 GPM Maxim "foam truck" that was delivered in April of 1974. Two of the five firefighters rode Rescue 1 on a rotating basis. Firefighter Ed Charbonneau was one of Hamden's first EMTs and he would become one of the first paramedics when ALS was inaugurated in Hamden two years after this photo was taken.
Summer 1974 - Firefighters Ed Doiron, Bob Kenney, Ed Charbonneau, Bob Viglione (behind Charbonneau), Steve Hitchcock (up top) and Lt. Gil Spencer (Photo courtesy of Ed Doiron; Photographer unknown)
Ed Doiron found this gem in a folder of old photos during the past week. HFD crew photos like this one are exactly what the HFRA History Committee is looking for - and this is a nice one! If you have a similar photo of your HFD crew - of any HFD crew - please scan it and send it to the website: firstname.lastname@example.org.
26 years ago Hamden welcomed four new recruits,
including its first career female firefighter
This November 4, 1987 Hamden Chronicle article heralded the addition of what would be the last group of Hamden firefighters to be trained and certified "in-house" to Fire Fighter I prior to being assigned to platoons. The new recruits included Firefighters Bernard Amatrudo, Gary Couture, Mike DiStefano, and Kerry Paul (Castracane). Six other new recruits were added to the department the previous February.
Five other department personnel (see article) assisted the training officer with various elements of the certification process during the five-week training period. This would also be the last group of new Hamden firefighters to be hired for seven more years. The next batch of new firefighters, added in 1994, were among the first recruit firefighters in Connecticut to receive their training and Fire Fighter I certifications at the new Connecticut Fire Academy at Windsor Locks.
Article courtesy of Gil Spencer (CLICK to enlarge)
The Hamden Chronicle, November 25, 1987 (Courtesy of Gil Spencer)
Ff. Kerry Castracane (nee Paul) was Hamden's first career female firefighter. Since her 1987 appointment, two more female firefighters have joined the ranks of Hamden's career department. Kerry retired two years ago after 24 years on the job and became the first female regular member of the HFRA.
Hamden's first female volunteer firefighter was Cheryl Flynn, who joined Co. 5 in the summer of 1974. Since then all three volunteer fire companies have enrolled numerous women.
Today female firefighters and officers are now quite common in career and volunteer fire departments of all sizes nationwide. The San Francisco Fire Department has been led by Chief Joanne Hayes-White for more than ten years.