Website thanks go out to to Ed Doiron, Jr., who recently dug up some old negatives of his dad's. This photo of Walt Macdowall was taken around 1968 when Ed Sr. worked at old 3's. Walt worked on Lieut. Ken Harrington's crew on Platoon 3. Ed was a Platoon 1 guy at the time, so he was either going off or coming on duty when he snapped the photo. (No, actually. If it were the change of shift, then Walt would have had on his dress blues. Note the bucket. The guys at 3's parked at the post office, but frequently washed their vehicles on the ramp. Thank you, Bobby Slater!)
(Ed Doiron, Sr. Photo - Courtesy of Ed Doiron, Jr.)
Walt Macdowall was appointed to the department in June 1965. He was promoted to lieutenant in May 1973. Three years later he was among the department's first eight certified paramedics. Walt became the department's first EMS Officer in 1983, and the following year he was appointed Assistant Fire Chief. Following more than 26 years of service, Walt Macdowall retired from the department at the end of November 1991 to become Chief of the LaGrange [Illinois] Fire Department.
Chief Walter T. Macdowall passed away suddenly at his LaGrange home in March 1995. Members of the Hamden and LaGrange Fire Departments participated in his funeral observances in Hamden.
Well liked by all who knew him, Walt will always be remembered for his dedication to the fire and EMS services and, of course, for his friendly demeanor and wicked sense of humor.
Another of Ed Doiron, Sr's images caught on a Kodak Ektachrome slide is this view of the Hamden Fire Department Honor Guard leading the department's marching contingent in Hamden's 1969 Memorial Day Parade.
L-R: Firefighters Ray Carofano, Wayne Butterworth, Carmen Amarante,
Walt Macdowall, Robert "Ace" Callahan (flag bearer) and Gene Maturo.
The house in the background, on the west side of Dixwell just south of the parkway bridge,
was razed many years ago to make way for a building that housed many restauarants,
none of which lasted very long. That building was razed recently to make way for a self-storage facility.
Ed Doiron, Sr. snapped this image of some Platoon 1 guys from Stations 3 and 6 as they got ready to roll it all up during annual hose testing in June 1969.
In the foreground is Firefighter Sid Trower, senior man of the crew. At right is junior man Firefighter Bob Chadwick, who came on the job just five months earlier. Firefighters Dave Hermann and Bobby Slater are fiddling with the 2-1/2" nozzle. Lieut. Joe McDermott was the boss - and a fine one, at that! (Looks like a '58 Plymouth in the background.)
Thirty-five year veteran Firefighter Jay Connolly, senior man of the entire department, poses with this classic sliding barn-style door that now separates and sound-proofs the laundry room from the living quarters at Station 9.
Jay and fellow Platoon 1 personnel constructed the door from salvaged materials, although it could easily pass for a high three-figure fixture purchased from Cheshire's House of Doors.
Jay and his Station 9 cohorts have done an outstanding job of preserving and improving the appearance and overall livablity of their 48-year old workplace. Kudos!
The "Canopy Cab" style pumper pictured below was manufactured by the Maxim Motor Company and delivered to the West Hartford Fire Department in 1944. This appears to be a closed-cab version of the design that Maxim introduced in 1931.
Factory photo courtesy of Chan Brainard
World War II put an end to the manufacture of motor vehicles for civilian use from early 1942 until mid 1945. However, fire apparatus continued to be manufactured during the war, although on a somewhat limited basis.
Hamden's 1941 Diamond-T city service ladder truck and 1942 Diamond-T 600 GPM pumper, manufactured by the Wood Engineering Service of Topsfield, Massachusetts, were both delivered in April 1942. However, they both were ordered well before the United States entered the war in December 1941.
This 1946 Maxim pumper once owned by four Hamden firefighters
Hamden had three pumpers and one ladder truck of the basic 1921-1930 design and three pumpers and one aerial ladder truck of the new postwar design introduced in late 1946. But Hamden never had any Maxim apparatus of the 1931-46 styling. However, in 1975 four Hamden firemen purchased a Maxim pumper of the 1931 open-cab design, a 750 GPM model formerly of the New Britain Fire Department. It carried a 1946 model year designation and was undoubtedly one of the last Maxims of the 1931 design.
In late August 1975, that same former New Britain Maxim pumper was the first piece of apparatus to sit on the concerete floor of the newly-built annex at Station 5, albeit for just three minutes.