December 13, 2013 - This week marks the 45th anniversary of the dedication of the West Woods firehouse, Station 9, the first free standing fire station built by the Town of Hamden. Except for the Centerville fire station, which was included in the design of Hamden's new town hall in 1924, all other Hamden fire stations had been built and owned by the individual volunteer fire companies that were organized before 1956.
The Little Red Schoolhouse That Became a Firehouse
(I.A. Sneiderman photo courtesy of Brian Leddy)
Following its organization in 1956, the West Woods Volunteer Fire Association acquired Hamden's last one-room schoolhouse for its meeting hall. Located on the corner of Johnson and Still Hill Roads, the little red schoolhouse had been vacant since its final class let out in June 1954. The volunteers worked hard during 1957 to add an apparatus bay to the building, which was completed by early 1958.
This photo of Volunteer Co. 9's newly-renovated station was taken by veteran news photographer I.A. (Izzy) Sneiderman, who happened to live right across the street on Still Hill Road. The HFRA is grateful to Firefighter Brian Leddy, son of retired Hamden fire chief and HFRA member Jim Leddy, for providing this and many other of Sneiderman's Hamden news photos to be scanned by the Association for future website publication.
Station 9 became a four-man house with the transfer from Station 5 of Truck 1, the 1958 Maxim 75' "Junior" aerial truck. Left to right are Firefighters Brian Forsyth and Ernie Braun, Acting Lt. Dan Murphy, and Firefighter Carmen Amarante. When this photo was snapped, the 1959 Maxim "cab-forward" was subbing as Engine 9 because the 1973 Maxim foam truck was being rebuilt by Pierce in Appleton, Wisconsin.
November 3, 1984 (CLICK to enlarge)
1975-76 MDA Drive Kick-off
New Haven Register, Monday, December 15, 1975 (Courtesy of Guy White)
Iconic 1960's VW Microbus Heats Up on Four Rod Road
Lt. Bill Hines and two Engine 4 firefighters extinguishing a fire in a VW Microbus on Four Rod Road. The firefighter crouching by the engine compartment is Gil Spencer, who believes the guy with the pikepole is probably Paul Reutenauer. (Photo scanned from the 1965 Hamden Town Report)