It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of retired Hamden Fire Department Lieutenant/Paramedic Howard "Howie" Hurlburt, Jr. on Wednesday, November 20th in Arkansas, where he resided for the last several years.
Howie's fire service career began when he joined the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. in 1965. Howie became a member of the career department in 1970 and was one of Hamden's first EMTs the following year. In 1976, Howie was among the first eight Hamden paramedics to be certified. Following a brief stint as the Department's first Mechanic in 1984, Howie was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to Platoons 3 and 4 until his retirement in 1993
Howie was from a family with deep roots in Hamden public service. His brother, Clark, a 30-year veteran of the Department, is a retired Deputy Chief. Howie's father, the late Howard Hurlburt, Sr., served on the Hamden Fire Department from 1948 until his retirement in 1981, and later served on the Hamden Legislative Council. His mother, Nancy, also served on the Council and was Hamden Town Clerk for several years during the 1980s and 90s.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Nancy, Clark and the rest of the Hurlburt family.
November 22, 2013 - The shocking events of fifty years ago today, and the days that followed, are snapshot moments indelibly etched into the memories of all Americans who were old enough at the time to comprehend the gravity of what had happened.
Over the years that observation has become almost a cliché, but it's true! The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Friday afternoon, November 22, 1963 was for the young people of the "Baby Boom Generation" what December 7th had been for the young people of 1941 who would become the "Greatest Generation," and what 9/11 has become for our children and grandchildren. And like those awful events of 1941 and 2001, the events of that terrible Friday afternoon one-half century ago changed the course of world history.
Fifty years ago this week, Dep. Chief Everett Doherty's 2nd Platoon was working the day shift from Tuesday the 19th through the Friday the 22nd. During that four-day trick, an unidentified New Haven Register reporter visited Hamden Fire Headquarters to write a story about the daily routine of Hamden firefighters. The reporter returned the following week to includethree recruit firefighters who started on the job the day after President Kennedy's funeral. The story was published on Sunday, December 1st.
New Haven Register, Sunday, Dec. 1, 1963 (Courtesy of Gil Spencer and Chan Brainard) CLICK to enlarge
When the three recruit firefighters pictured in center-left photo of this article came on the job, the workweek was 56 hours and the pay was under $100 a week.
Two of the new firefighters stayed about two years. The third recruit, Charles Esposito, stayed for 30 years. In 1989, Lieutenant/Paramedic Charlie Esposito was appointed as the Department's second EMS Officer.
Contrary to the photo credit in the newspaper article, all but one of the photos in the article were taken by veteran newspaper photographer D.F. Vaccaro.
The center photo of Dep. Chief Hume training the three recruit firefighters was taken the following week by someone identified as Acampora, possibly the reporter.
The Vaccaro photos are believed to have been taken on either November 19th or 20th, and the Acampora photo on November 26th.
The website does have some of the original glossies from that newspaper article, all by D.F. Vaccaro.
The two Vaccaro photos immediately below did not appear in the published article - the three photos below them did.
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
Ben Mikolinski and another day shift firefighter demonstrated the art of bed making for the benefit of the reporter. In some departments the day shift made the beds for the night shift. But in Hamden the night shift always made their own beds before going home each morning.
Once the chores and training were done, (L-R) Firefighters Paul Reutenauer, Milner Benham, Gil Spencer and John Hoffman demonstrated the art of television viewing. We used to call this "alarm readiness." These days there is a lot more "alarm" and a lot less "readiness."
Dep. Chief Dan Hume with recruit firefighters Jerold Bradbury, Russell Smith and Charlie Esposito, who started on the job Tuesday, November 26th, the day after the National Day of Mourning for President Kennedy's funeral. Charlie Esposito put in 30 years and retired as the department's Emergency Medical Services Officer in 1993.
Ff. Milner Benham atop Engine 4, the 1954 Maxim, inspecting the E&J resuscitator.
A stereotypical firehouse pastime: The boys pose for a contrived game of Setback for benefit of the photographer. Gil reports that he never played cards. (Ah, but some of us did!)
Gone somewhere! (Vaccaro Photo)
Note the officer's shoes front left, and the driver's shoe's front right, and the three pairs of shoes at the rear.
Three firefighters rode the tailboard, making it a crew of five!
Department Apparatus Committee Formed 30 Years Ago
Town Allocated Funds for First New Pumpers in Ten Years
In November 1983, Chief V. Paul Leddy and Dep. Chief John Tramontano took a novel approach to designing apparatus that would meet the Department's needs for the next generation. They assembled a committee of Department members of various ranks and job descriptions to investigate different apparatus configurations and specifications and make recommendations for the first new Hamden pumpers in ten years. Following several months of meetings, visits to neighboring departments and even a few test drives, the committee developed specs for two new Pierce Dash pumpers. The new pumpers were delivered a little more than a year later and served the Department for twenty-five more years.
The work of the apparatus committee, begun while Chief Leddy was still on the job, culminated in the delivery of two new Pierce Dash pumpers in early December 1984, eight months after Leddy retired. Below is retired Chief V. Paul Leddy in front of his home on Cumpstone Drive, standing next to the new Engine 4 less than a week after it arrived from the Pierce factory in Appleton, Wisconsin.
December 1984 - Retired Hamden Fire Chief V. Paul Leddy with Engine 4, a 1984 Pierce Dash 1,000 GPM Pumper (Photo by John Tramontano)
375 Mather Street
Wednesday, November 28, 1973
The New Haven Register, Wednesday, November 28, 1973 (Courtesy of Chan Brainard)
CLICK on either image to enlarge for easier reading.