Four Honored at Local 2687 Annual Retirement Dinner
Approximately twenty-five Hamden Fire Department retirees, many accompanied by their wives, attended Local 2687's Annual Retirement Dinner last Saturday night at the popular Country House in Foxon. Four retirees representing 106 years of service were honored at the dinner. The members of the HFRA wish B/C Don LaBanca, B/C Bill Fitzmaurice, B/C Sam DeBurra and Firefighter/Paramedic Greg Pereira each a long, happy and healthy retirement.
Dunlop and Vogt
Pipers Lt. Charlie Lubowicki, Jr., Lt. Mike Dowling and Capt. Ed Evers opened the ceremonies.
RIGHT: HFRA Vice President Jim Dunlop presented Local 2687 President Kurt Vogt with a special plaque from the members of the HFRA, thanking the local for their "generous invitations to our members" year after year.
Retirement Dinner Committee members Kevin Recca and Brian Gilson once again delivered an outstanding dinner-dance at the very popular Country House in Foxon. Thank you!
This week the Hamden Fire Department has been conducting annual confined space rescue training, required under the HFD Training Plan for all members and includes classroom and hands-on operational training.
Confined space skills include metering techniques for hazardous materials and gases, ventilation systems, rigging and haul systems, low profile and remote breathing air systems, patient care and rescue packaging, communications, incident command procedures, documentation and firefighter safety.
The photo at left shows an adjustable tri-pod and rigging system used to lower a firefighter into a confined space to initiate a rescue. The firefighter wears an air mask and is supplied breathing air from the surface. The firefighter must also enter with a low profile escape bottle as a safety measure.
The photo below (LEFT) shows the ventilation system, tripod and simulated confined space being used for the training scenario. In the photo below (RIGHT), a firefighter is donning a low profile escape air bottles during the training scenario.
Training: Confined Space Rescue '95
We recently found several videos from the collection of Shirley Mangler, who took lots of photos and videos of HFD activities during the 1980s and 1990s. Among them was about 20 minutes of a confined space rescue training session conducted at Station 2 in May 1995. We condensed Shirley's 20 minutes of raw video into about 12 minutes and posted it yesterday on YouTube.
Perhaps the best part of the video is the personnel, only two of whom are still on the job. In fact, these two young firefighters were the least senior among the dozen or so personnel present. They are now prominent members of the department. Oh yes, they also were selected to be the rescuers during the training session that was videoed.
The headline from this April 29, 1961 New Haven Register article vividly conveys just how perilous the times were. Later that year, the Soviet Union exploded a monster nuclear bomb in the atmosphere in an attempt to prove its superiority over the U.S. Not only was it not true, but their tactic did not work. But the dangerous escalation in the Soviets' actions made Civil Defense officials - it made everyone - very nervous. The height of the terror would occur eighteen months later when the U.S. "quarantined" Cuba after the Soviets placed nuclear missiles there - and we all held our breath.
Courtesy of Chan Brainard
At the time of this photo, Civil Defense deputy commander for New Haven county Ray Spencer was the president of the Mount Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. and woud remain active until the 1980s. His son, Gilbert, is a retired battalion chief with 35 years of the career department service and a trustee of the HFRA. Ray Spencer's grandson, John, on the job since 1987, serves as Hamden's most senior battalion chief.