During 1983-84, Storer Cable Television of New Haven produced "Hamden at Work," hosted by former newspaperman Frank Whalen. The program showcased a different town department each week. On April 17, 1984, "Hamden at Work" featured the Hamden Fire Department in two simulations, a priority one medical emergency and a mountain rescue at the quarry at Sleeping Giant State Park off Tuttle Avenue.
Chief V. Paul Leddy on "Hamden at Work" - April 17, 1984
Mr. Whalen began the broadcast by introducing outgoing Hamden Fire Chief V. Paul Leddy, who retired less than two weeks later after more than 23 years as chief. Chief-designate John Tramontano and Assistant Chief-designate Walter T. Macdowall were also present to narrate the mountain rescue and EMS simulations, respectively. They would be sworn in on April 30th.
Lasting just over eleven minutes, this video is the first half of the broadcast, which featured the stabilization a cardiac arrest victim and the various associated procedures and protocols in effect at the time. (The mountain rescue simulation will be posted with next Friday's website update.)
In the EMS scenario, which was taped in a small office in the town hall, "Mr. Johnson" was portrayed by Ff. Charlie "Chaz" Cargan. His secretary was Jill from the town clerk's office. Lieut./EMT Bob Westervelt and Firefighter/EMT Paul Petrillo of Engine 4 arrived first, followed by Rescue 1's Firefighter/Paramedic Tom Conway and Firefighter/EMT Ray Ramelli.
Website thanks to retired captain and HFRA member Dennis Baker for providing some photos he took of his Platoon 4 buddies at Station 2 in 1979, about a year after coming on the job.
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Ff. Ronnie Altieri at the desk in the officer's room, such as it was, at Station 2.
The officer assigned to Station 2 on Platoon 4 was Lieut. John Tramontano (his photos to be featured next week).
Ff. Billy "Badass" Mulcahy at the watch desk. Note the rotary dial phone on the desk and the Gamewell tape register on the shelf behind. The object on the shelf next to the tape take-up reel was a huge rolodex with running cards listing the apparatus on each fire alarm box.
Mulcahy is reading, apparently unaware that Ronnie is up to something. Watch desk amenities consisted only of a radio - note the make-shift antenna - and whatever reading material was available. Firefighters "sat watch" in two-hour shifts from 0800 to 1800, and one-hour shifts from 1800 to 2300. Last man on watch cleaned the kitchen.
45 Years Ago
Tuesday, April 22, 1969 - The members of Co. 5 were just leaving the firehouse following a very long regular monthly meeting when the bell hit for this water rescue at the Ives Street bridge over Mill River. The driver of the 1966 Pontiac was rescued by Hamden police Sergeant Burton Brockett.
Dazed from his ordeal, the 23-year old vehicle operator insisted that a female companion was with him in the vehicle when it went off the road. Hamden police officer John O'Connor was injured while trying to locate the woman in the wreckage. Several police and career and volunteer firefighters waded around in the swollen Mill River for about twenty minutes in a vain atempt to locate the woman, who was apparently safe at home with her parents.
The New Haven Register, Wednesday, April 23, 1969 - Courtesy of Chan Brainard
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The Hamden Chronicle - Thursday, April 24, 1969
Seasonal Delivery for the Kids
Easter 1969 - Firefighters John Tramontano and Frank Eitler make a delivery to Brooksvale Park (New Haven Register, April 1, 1969 - Courtesy of Gil Spencer)