The Hamden Fire Retirees' Association is pleased to be among the many supporters of the 20th Annual Hamden Volunteer Firefighters Independence Day Fireworks display tonight at Town Center Park at Meadowbrook. As always, the event will be a great time for the whole family and our town!
This year the HFRA website will be on an abbreviated summer schedule. During July and August the website will be updated bi-weekly on the second and fourth Fridays - July 12, 26, August 9 and 23. Regular weekly website updates will resume on September 6th. As always, important interim announcements will be posted immediately above the masthead.
HFRA Summer Meeting
Tuesday July 9th, 1 p.m.
Hamden Elks' Lodge, 175 School Street Menu: Roasted Chicken Caesar Salad - $5.00
All you can eat - All welcome
75 Years Ago!
Ladder Training on Putnam Avenue
It was quite an event for the locals, especially the kids, when the Hamden Fire Department conducted ground ladder training at the Whitneyville fire station in the summer of 1938. There were about 18 paid firefighters on the department at the time. The only department officers were the volunteer fire chief, Charles Loller, and the three volunteer assistant chiefs, Raymond C. Spencer, August Ball and Thayer Jones, all appointed by the Board of Fire Commissioners, and the volunteer captains and lieutenants elected by the individual fire companies. The Town appointed career officers from among the paid men four years later in April 1942.
Photos of this training session were provided to the HFRA by the late G. Donald Steele, an avid fire buff and longtime member of Co. 5, who was in his late teens at the time. Decades later, Don was one of the original state employees with the Connecticut Commission on Fire Prevention and Control who helped to establish various certification criteria back in the early 1970s.
CLICK to enlarge
CLICK to enlarge
Asst. Chief August Ball directed firefighters raising a 40-foot extension ladder, complete with tormentors. The department had such ladders in 50-foot lengths as well. Once the department acquired its first aerial ladder truck in 1958, extension ladders with tormentor poles were used almost exclusively for training.
Adults and kids alike lined Putnam Avenue to watch the activities as the cameraman faced west. The back end of the brand new 1938 Seagrave 600 GPM canopy-cab pumper can be seen in the background.
The Whitneyville fire station was built in 1927, replacing the wood frame structure that was given to Whitneyville Co. 3 by the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. in the early 19-teens. Co. 3 sold the building to the Town in 1949. It was closed in September 1970 when "new" Station 3 was opened at the corner of Ridge Road and Hartford Tpke.
The former Whitneyville Fire Station Today
Old Station 3 - May 2013
Photo Evoked Childhood Memories With a
Dual HFD Connection
Several weeks ago following the passing of Ricky Kenyon, we posted this December 1969 photo showing Ricky and fellow rookie Bob Chadwick training on Welton Street. Within a few days the website received an email from Lieut. Jeff Pechmann, who wrote:
"As soon as I saw the picture of Ricky Kenyon and Bob Chadwick training I knew where it was even though I was only 6 months old when the photo was taken. The white cape in the immediate background is my grandparents' house. My grandfather (Richie Lostritto's brother) built that house and lived in it most of his adult life. I spent countless hours playing in that field before the houses that are now there were built."
Richie Lostritto, Jeff's great uncle and an active HFRA member, was the department's Supt. of Alarms and Apparatus from 1968 until his retirement in 1985. Thank you, Jeff, for sharing your story.
Ff. Harold Prescher at Station 3 in 1995. Harold was the originator of the first HFD map book.
Hamden Fire Department Officer and Driver Roster - 1927-28
From the City Directory
Courtesy of the Hamden Historical Society
c. 1988 - Station 2 - L-R: Ff. Gary Couture, Lt. Dennis Baker, Ff. Jay Connolly, FF. Bill Davin, and Capt. Mike Ambriscoe. Ffs. Dick Carney and Tim O'Flynn are partially visible right behind Connolly and Ambriscoe. (Courtesy of Dennis Baker)
60 Years Ago!
Sixty years ago this week this truck was headed up Ives Street with a load of cutlery from the Fleming Company. It didn't make it. The building in the background, located at the corner of Whitney Avenue, presently houses the Mt. Carmel Wine and Spirit Shoppe. The Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. was first quartered in a rear wing of that building - now demolished - until the present station was completed in 1926. The Fleming Company, located at Ives and Broadway, burned down 15 years later.
The Hamden Chronicle - Courtesy of the Hamden Historical Society