This week's website update is dedicated to the memory of
HFD Firefighter Sidney Trower (1915-2011)
Firefighter Sid Trower was a solid, well-respected firefighter who served on the Hamden Fire Department from 1947 until his 1980 retirement. Gil Spencer recently spoke about when he walked into Station 3 as a brand new lieutenant in 1970. With already 23 years on the job, Firefighter Sid Trower helped to put him at ease, assuring Gil that he was there to help him make a smooth transition into his new role as company officer. "Sid was very well respected by the other firefighters," recalled Gil, "so he made things a lot easier for me as the 'new guy'," something Gil says he will always remember fondly about Sid.
Sid Trower was among the first retirees to join the HFRA five years ago. He passed away in April of 2011 at the age of 96. The Hamden Fire Retirees' Association wishes to thank Sid's family, especially daughter Sylvia Trower Bontatibus, for the generous loan of images of newspaper articles, photos and other HFD memorabilia from Sid's personal scrapbook, spanning the years 1940 to 1980, many of which will be shared with website visitors in the coming weeks.
Below is an wonderful panoramic view of Hamden Plains taken from the top of Hamden's new aerial ladder right after it was placed in service in December 1958.
December 1958 - View over Station 2 from the top of Hamden's new 75' aerial ladder (Sid Trower Collection)
The HFRA History Committee is always looking for old photos of any Hamden Fire Department activities,
including fires, fire apparatus, parades, training sessions,
fire station life, off-duty get-togethers - you name it.
Retired Supt. of Alarms & Apparatus Richie Lostritto (pictured far right) sent this Halloween photo, taken many years ago in front of Station 2. Hydrant Maintainer Larry Gershman (back to camera) assists Richie and an unidentified guy (hmmmm), while they replace yet another head gasket on the Waukesha powerplant in Engine 1. The repair shop guys could usually be counted upon to don ridiculous outfits on Halloween, but that year they observed the occasion by just being themselves. (Who was that masked man?)
Originally posted 11/2/12
Taken around 1960, the photo below shows a firefighter at the old Western Electric cordless tabletop switchboard in the Alarm Room at Fire Headquarters, when the desk faced the wall adjacent to the doorway. The firefighter looks a lot like Ed Kopjanski, but the photo was taken long before he joined the department. Anyone recognize him? (We don't.)
From Sid Trower's Album (Courtesy of Sylvia Bontatibus)
Below: Another view of the Dispatcher's desk in the Alarm Room at HQ - c. 1960
Photo courtesy of Chan Brainard
Now, in Hi-Rez!
Joe McDermott provided the website with another version of this photo several years ago. Sid Trower's scrapbook had the original glossy, which provided the really nice hi-rez image shown here.
Probably taken at the same time as the 1958 Hamden Plains aerial view above, this photo shows Station 2's crew of "old Platoon 1" with Training Officer, D/C Dan Hume. Standing L-R: Ff. Dick Stacey, B/C Daniel Hume (Drillmaster), Ff. Dave Herrmann, Ff. Mickey Cantarella, Capt. James Strain. Kneeling: Ff. Joe McDermott, Ff. Sid Trower and Ff. Hugh McLean.
Hamden firefighter Stan Brown snapped this photo of Seymour's impressive pre-1958 Seagrave "quint" aerial ladder truck during a parade in the mid-1960s. Enjoy!
Seymour Fire Department's early 1950s Seagrave "Quint" Aerial Truck (Stan Brown photo courtesy of Chan Brainard)