Just Found! Our own Eddy Doiron snapped this 35mm slide of Hamden's former 1941 Diamond-T city service "hook & ladder" truck, driven by owner Ken Lewis in Hamden's May 11, 1986 Bicentennial Parade.
Photo by Ed Doiron, Sr.
This truck was placed in service at Highwood Station 1 seventy-five years ago this week. Transferred to Humphrey Station 2 in 1951, the 1941 Diamond-T remained in service until the 1958 Maxim 75' aerial truck was placed in service in December 1958.
Designated "Ladder 43" on the radio, the '41 Diamond-T was stationed at Mt. Carmel as a spare until it was sold to New Milford in April 1963 for $2,200. Proceeds from the sale were used to purchase Plectron radios for alerting the four Hamden volunteer fire companies still active at the time.
Mr. Lewis, who owned a couple of other former Hamden Diamond-T pumpers, purchased the truck from New Milford after more than two decades' service there. He eventually moved to Cape Cod, where he passed away in October 2015. The exact whereabouts of Mr. Lewis' Diamond-Ts today is unknown.
Electrical fire on house exterior captured on video
A malfunction of electrical service was the cause of an odd fire on the exterior of a ranch house at 336 Circular Avenue earlier this week. At 2:09 p.m. on Wednesday the 26th, Central Communications dispatched Engines 2, 3 and 8, Squad 1, Tower 1, and Car 3. Following a report of a working fire, Engine 5 (RIT), Car 1, Car 5, and Car 8 responded. The fire went out quickly once the UI Company cut the power. Damage was minor, limited mostly to the vinyl siding with no interior extension. There were no injuries.
At the September 29, 1929 meeting of the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co., Al Molleur noted that a check of the number of members who were present at emergency calls was far lower than the number of members on the roll of the company. "It was the opinion of the meeting that this was due to members arriving at the firehouse after the machine had left."
Photo courtesy of Gil Spencer
In a time when not everyone had a driver's license, much less a family automobile, it was not always possible for volunteer firefighters to get to a fire once "the machine" left the firehouse. Mr. Molleur made a motion that the company purchase a "squad car" to transport members to fires after the regular apparatus left the firehouse. The price for the eight-year old Packard Twin 6 was $220 ($3,106.14 in 2017 dollars). $100 toward the purchase was transferred from the Clothing Fund and each member was levied a two-dollar assessment ($28.24 today) to pay the balance.
Mt. Carmel's Patrol Wagon went in service in late December 1929 and remained part of the department's apparatus inventory until at least 1936. On January 6, 1930, a new 600 g.p.m. Maxim rotary gear pumper was delivered to the Mt. Carmel station, where it remained in service until it was transferred to Merritt Street in 1953. The 1930 Maxim replaced Mt. Carmel's 1919 Stewart chemical truck, which was then donated to Dunbar Hill Co. 8.
Central Communications was only a few months old when Dep. Chief Training Officer John Tramontano took this photo of Dispatcher Marge Gambardella [Yacano] at the fire dispatch console in April 1982. Very "analog" by today's standards, ain't it!