Today there are only three active department members who worked under Chief V. Paul Leddy, who retired thirty years ago this coming Sunday following a 42-year career on the department, the last 23 as fire chief. Chief Leddy was succeeded by Chief John Tramontano, who was already a 25-year department veteran when sworn in as Hamden's third career fire chief on Monday, April 30, 1984.
Chief V. Paul Leddy
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Chief John Tramontano
John Tramontano's tenure as fire chief was noted for, among other things, an emphasis on company unity of command and the introduction of the incident command concept. A department-wide reorganization was implemented that eventually resulted in the creation of twelve new lieutenant positions from existing firefighter positions. Career and volunteer personnel were trained and certified to a minimum level of Fire Fighter I. A reduction in career personnel continued through attrition, reaching the minimum manning number of 25 personnel per platoon (later 23) which, despite an increase in overtime hiring to maintain minimum manning, resulted in significant savings to the town in salaries and benefits.
"Hamden at Work" - Part 2
HFD's Mountain Rescue Team 30 Years Ago
Hamden Mountain Rescue Team Demonstration (1984)
Last week's website update featured Part 1 of the 30-year old Storer Cable TV broadcast of "Hamden at Work." Asst. Chief Walt Macdowall narrated a simulation of Hamden Fire Department EMS personnel treating and preparing a cardiac arrest patient for transport.
In Part 2 of the April 17, 1984 broadcast, newly-appointed Fire Chief John Tramontano narrated a video of the department's Mountain Rescue Team performing a simulated rescue of an injured climber at the old quarry in Sleeping Giant State Park.
Also featured is host Frank Whalen's brief interview with outgoing Hamden Fire Chief V. Paul Leddy, who retired ten days after the broadcast following 42 years with the department, the last 23 as chief. Chief Tramontano was sworn in on Monday, April 30, 1984.
November 14, 1960
Hamden Board of Fire Commissioners Names V. Paul Leddy to Replace Chief Raymond Spencer
The New Haven Evening Register, Thursday, November 17, 1960
40 YEARS AGO!
John Reynolds, Jaycees 1974 "Outstanding Fireman of the Year"
Named Jaycees "Outstanding Fireman of the Year" for 1974, John Reynolds joined the department in 1970 and was assigned to Platoon 3 his entire career. John and his wife Mary Ellen still reside in Spring Glen, and he frequently attends HFRA quarterly meetings.
Here are a couple more Dennis Baker photos from 1979, when he worked at Station 2 with Lieut. John Tramontano, one of the department's first paramedics and future Chief of the Deparment. Rescue 2 was the 1975 Ford, which served later as "TAC One." CLICK either photo to ENLARGE.
1979 - Lt. John Tramontano displays Rescue 2's generator