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Margaret "Marty" Barletta
One of four of the first fulltime civilian Hamden fire dispatchers
Chief V. Paul Leddy & Marty - 1981
We are deeply saddened to report the passing earlier this week in Florida of Margaret "Marty" Barletta, beloved wife of retired Hamden Fire Marshal Mark Barletta and mother of HFD Captain Adam Barletta and Robin Faiola, following an illness of 15 months.
Marty was among Hamden's first four civilian fire dispatchers hired under Civil Service after the positions were created in 1980. It was then that she met her future husband, Mark, who was a new Hamden firefighter.
Friends may call next Friday, March 18th, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Washington Memorial Funeral Home, 4 Washington Avenue in North Haven. Her funeral procession will leave from the funeral home on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial which will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. in Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 2819 Whitney Ave., Hamden. Burial will be private.
Memorial contributions in Marty's name may be made to HALO Rescue, 710 Jackson St., Sebastian, FL 32958. The thoughts and prayers of the HFRA are with Mark, Adam, Robin and the rest of the Barletta family.
A man whose men have called him a "fireman's fireman" was formally recognized fifty-five years ago this week by the Board of Fire Commissioners for saving the life of a one-year old West Haven boy. The child became unresponsive two months earlier while traveling with his parents in Hamden. They stopped at Station 2 for assistance. Firefighter Joseph McDermott performed mouth-to-mouth resusciation on the child, who was revived.
New Haven Register, March 13, 1961 (Articles courtesy of Chan Brainard and Gil Spencer)
McDermott in 1988
Joe McDermott joined the Hamden Fire Department in 1953. Ten years later he was among three firefighters to receive a promotion to lieutenant when a second position of lieutenant was added to each platoon. Joe was promoted to captain when the 42-hour workweek was adopted in 1970. Following the 1973 retirement of Deputy Chief (B/C) James Strain, Joe was promoted to deputy chief to fill Strain's slot as commander of Platoon 2.
Very well-liked and well-respected by the officers and firefighters he led through the years, Deputy Chief Joe McDermott retired in September 1991 after 38 years of service. He currently lives in Branford with his wife, Helen, and has been an active member of the HFRA since it was organized.
New Haven Register, Saturday, March 11, 1961 (Brainard collection)
The first of many cars assigned to the platoon commanders arrived fifty-five years ago this week in the form of one brand new 1961 Ford four-door sedan, purchased for $1,788.00, from Bradford Ford on Dixwell Avenue.
The 1961 Ford would be succeeded by a white 1966 Ford Wagon (see below), a red 1970 Ford Wagon, a red 1974 Malibu Wagon, 1977 Plymouth wagon, 1982 Ford Wagon, 1987 GMC Jimmy, and many, many more.
Dep. Chief Everett Doherty, pictured in the 1961 photo above, poses with Hamden's newest Car 30, a 1966 Ford station wagon. This would be Chief Doherty's last Car 30. He retired the following August after nearly 39 years of service. Eighteen years later another platoon commader's car would be the assigned vehicle of Doherty's son, Tom.
The Hamden Chronicle, Thursday, March 10, 1966 (Brainard collection)
Those Radio Designations
All fire department vehicles had radio designations ranging between numbers 30 and 59. "Car 30" was the radio designation of the car assigned to the platoon commanders. The chief's vehicle was "Car 40." This was the result of the police, fire and public works departments originally sharing a single radio frequency many years earlier when police department vehicles had numbers 1 through 29; the public works had numbers 60 and over.
By the early 1980s and the switch to Central Communications, Chief Leddy accepted the recommendation that fire department cars receive more appropriate designations. Car 40 became Car 1. Car 2 was left open in anticipation of the creation of the Asst. Chief's position. Car 30 became Car 3. Car 51, the training officer, became Car 4. Car 41, the fire marshal, became Car 5. Car 6 was left open for the anticipated creation of an assistant marshal.
Cars 7, 8 and 9 were assigned to the Superintendent, Asst. Supt. and what had been Car 53, the bucket truck. But when the new radio designation numbers were being doled out, Supt. Richie Lostritto said he didn't want to be assigned "Car 7." An avid Red Sox fan, Richie wanted Ted Williams' number which, of course, was 9. He got it! His assistant, Paul Wetmore, Sr., got Car 7 instead, a radio designation he kept when he became Superintendent in 1986.