On Friday, March 6, 1987, the first new recruits to join the department in five years received their Fire Fighter I certifications, having completed four weeks of training conducted within the department.
Courtesy of Tara Madison
L-R: Firefighters Dennis Harrison, Bill Fitzmaurice, John Spencer, Chief John Tramontano, Firefighters Ron Desroches, Tim Sullivan and Kevin O'Hare. Some of the guiding principles imparted to these young recruits during their training: "Save the big end," "Try before you pry," and, of course, "It's all done with mirrors."
John Spencer and Ron Desroches are still on the job, both having attained the rank of battalion chief. Happy Anniversary, guys!
Lynn Motors was located just north of Morse Street, directly across Dixwell Avenue from St. Ann's Church, a stone's throw from the Highwood fire station that would close 19 months later. Sixty-seven years ago this week the car lot was the scene of a massive fire, fueled mostly by old tires. The photo below was donated to the HFRA recently by former longtime Hamden resident Rich Iagrosse, who now lives in Northford. Thank you, Mr. Iagrosse!
Originally posted 2/27/15
CLICK ON THE PHOTO FOR MORE PHOTOS OF THIS FIRE
CLICK ON THIS PHOTO FOR MORE PHOTOS AND THE NEWS ARTICLE ABOUT THE 3/2/1950 FIRE AT LYNN MOTORS.
The profile of the guy on the left appears to be that of Vinny Roth (1916-2007). Vinny came on the job in 1947 and retired in 1980. The fellow holding the pike pole upright is Paul Rosadina (1920-2003), who became the D/C shift commander of Platoon 1 after Dep. Chief Joseph Hromadka retired in 1972. Dep. Chief Rosadina came on the job in 1946 and retired 32 years ago this week. His voice can be heard on the July 1981 audio transcription of the 32 Dix Street fire posted a few months ago.
Chief Raymond Spencer, of course, is the fellow in the white bunker coat and helmet. The helmet he wore in that photo can be seen at the bottom of this page, in the hands of HFRA Honorary Member Chan Brainard, who has had Chief Spencer's helmet in his collection of fire memorabilia for many years.
Autumn 1960 - Chief Raymond C. Spencer and Capt. James Strain
Hamden's first paid fire chief, Raymond C. Spencer, was only a few weeks away from retirement when he was photographed with Capt. James Strain and both of Hamden's rescue trucks in front of Station 2.
Chief Spencer was appointed chief in April 1942 and served until his 65th birthday on November 19, 1960. He was succeeded by Chief V. Paul Leddy, who served as the department's chief until his 65th birthday on April 27, 1984. Capt. Strain was promoted to fill the battalion chief vacancy created when Leddy was appointed chief.
Rescue 2 on the left, a 1960 International Travel-al, was assigned to Headquarters. Rescue 1, a 1958 International Travel-al, was originally assigned to Station 2. Following Leddy's appointment as Chief, Rescue 1 was transferred to Station 3 at Putnam Avenue.
In 1986, Bethany Fire Chief George Quinn joined Hamden Chief John Tramontano in cementing a mutual aid agreement between the two departments that endures to this day. Chief Quinn led a large crew of talented, well-trained and motivated officers and firefighters in one of the most progressive fire departments in the State of Connecticut.
The Connecticut State Firefighters Association recently named Chief Quinn to the Connecticut Firefighters Hall of Fame. He will be installed at the Association's Annual Hall of Fame Dinner at Southington's Aqua Turf of Thursday, April 6th.
In addition, the members of the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department invite Hamden's friends of Chief Quinn to an afternoon dinner on Sunday, March 26th, 2-6, at the Lake View Lodge on Rt. 42. See complete information below for both events.