Firefighter-Paramedic John Spencer, assigned to Rescue 2 on Platoon 1, sustained second degrees burns to his face during a valiant attempt by first due firefighters to rescue a 14-year old youth believed to be trapped on the second floor of a Bradley Avenue house in January 1988. It turned out that the youth was actually at school. Firefighter Spencer, now Battalion Chief Spencer, was at the time the youngest member of the department, having been appointed a year earlier. Spencer's helmet is graphic evidence of the intense heat to which he was exposed.
Firefighter Paul Reutenauer is riding the tailboard of Engine 4 in this early 1960s slide taken by Lieut. Bill Hines. The pumper was the department's 1954 Maxim that was 50% financed through a grant from Civil Defense, hence the "CD" logo on the cab doors. Those logos were replaced by decals of the Town of Hamden seal when the pumper was repainted in the early 1970s. The pumper remained in service until the early 1990s, serving last as Engine 15 of the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. No. 5.
This photo was among several images recently acquired from Bill's widow, Ernestine Hines, with the help of retiree Bob Slater. More will be posted here in the near future.
1958 - HFD Firefighters Offer Opinions on New Years Resolutions
The Suburban Spokesman, Thursday, January 2, 1958 (Courtesy of the family of Sid Trower)
The Inquiring Photographer in the second to last issue of The Suburban Spokesman spotlighted four Station 2 Hamden firefighters who expressed candid personal opinions on new years resolutions. Firefighters Dick Stacey, Michael "Mickey" Cantarella, Hugh McLean and Sid Trower served a total of 120 years on the HFD. Stacey was promoted to lieutenant in 1973.
The Suburban Spokesman: The Chronicle's "Edsel"
October 10, 1957 - January 9, 1958
In late 1957, Ford Motor Company executives and the publishers of The Hamden Chronicle all had something in common. Both groups introduced innovative products they believed the public would accept with wild enthusiasm.
On September 4, 1957, the Ford Motor Co. introduced the Edsel, nicknamed at the time "a Mercury sucking a lemon." On October 10, 1957, The Hamden Chroniclemorphed from the ever popular and successful eleven-year old weekly newspaper into The Suburban Spokesman. Both innovations were equally successful.
When The Hamden Chronicle first made the scene in August 1946 it carried Hamden news as well as news from the adjacent towns of North Haven and Cheshire. But The Suburban Spokesman expanded local news coverage to a larger number of New Haven area communities, including Bethany, Orange and Woodbridge. The experiment of a regional weekly fizzled after only three months, andThe Hamden Chronicle resumed regular weekly publication on Thursday, January 16, 1958. The Chronicleceased publication several years ago, merging with The North Haven Post to become The Post-Chronicle.
Unlike the Ford Motor Company, and to their credit, the publishers of the Spokesman didn't wait two years to pull the plug on their bomb.
From 100 Years of Ford. Publications International, Ltd: 2003
There was a time . . .
There was a time when the Town of Hamden recognized the service of public safety employees who had achieved the twenty-five year milestone. This New Haven Register news article from the first week of the Bicentennial Year of 1976 featured Chief V. Paul Leddy presenting "25-Year" pins to Superintendent Richard Lostritto, Capt. Burt Hillocks and Ff. Larry Bellemore. A fourth honoree, Ff. Bob "Whitey" Williams, is pictured in the inset.
All four department members joined the HFD in September 1950 (see news photo below), and together they ran up 122 years of service. Richie Lostritto, who served the longest (35 years), has been a member of the HFRA since it was organized in 2009.
Four of the seven 1950 recruits in this photo would receive their 25-year pins and would go on to serve a total of 122 years.
This wartime photo taken by I.A. Sneiderman at the New Haven Green, perhaps in conjunction with Fire Prevention Week 1943, shows three distinctly different eras of fire apparatus. The turn-of-the-[20th]-century steamer on the left has been motorized with what appears to be a circa 1910 Seagrave tractor. It is labeled "HFD," but it is not from Hamden. Hartford, perhaps? The 1915 Seagrave pumper in the middle labeled "Engine Company No. 14" is undoubtedly a New Haven piece from the Prospect Hill District station on Highland Street, that had yet to be painted white. The "streamlined" Seagrave pumper at right was state-of-the-art. Labeled "Emergency 1," this pumper operated out of Station 12 on Crown Street.* 1943 was when New Haven apparatus was going from red to white.