Back in the day, brand new apparatus was never assigned to two-man fire stations like Mt. Carmel and Merritt Street. Those stations always got the hand-me-downs. So, regardless of the diminutive size of Station 6 on Merritt Street, that location was not a likely candidate for the new Maxim 750 g.p.m. pumper that was due in mid-1952.
Still, for their constituents in the State Street area, the Board of Fire Commissioners had the perfect excuse for why the ancient 1926 Maxim at Merritt Street would not be replaced by the shiny new 750 g.p.m. Maxim pumper. According to a June 12, 1952 article in The Hamden Chronicle, the new pumper was too big to fit in the fire station.
Ah, but was that really the case? (See photo below the article.)
1926 Maxim 500 g.p.m. pumper
1952 Maxim 750 g.p.m. pumper
The Hamden Chronicle, June 12, 1952 - Hamden Historical Society
Ed Doiron Sr. photo
In 1952, the Fire Commission said the new pumper would be too big to fit inside Station 6.
Seventeen years later, isn't that a Maxim 750 pumper sitting in Station 6? Maybe it shrunk.
Giovanni Bugiani lowering the Flag on the New Haven Green
Remember Flag Day
Our brother fire retiree and former HFRA president Mark Barletta shared this moving photo of his grandfather, Giovaini Bugiani (1892-1971), carefully lowering the Flag on the New Haven Green sometime in the 1940s - note the 48-star pattern.
Mr. Bugiani arrived in the United States from Italy in 1907 and became a U.S. citizen in 1919.
Mark is an avid flag historian, with an amazing knowledge of the continuing story Old Glory, from 13 to 50 stars.
Please remember to fly your U.S. flag next Wednesday, June 14th - and every day.
Maselli Fireplace Center 3547 Whitney Avenue May 1, 1968
The quarried head of Sleeping Giant literally provides the backdrop for this photo. This early evening fire was not a big one for Dep. Chief Joe Hromadka and Platoon 1, but it was a nasty one that did a lot of damage to merchandise stored in the basement of the Maselli Fireplace Center on the east side of Whitney Avenue, just north of West Woods Road.
Responding were Engine 5, Engine 4, Ladder 1, Rescue 2 and Car 30. This was seven months before Engine 9, manned by career personnel, was placed in service with the opening of new Station 9.
Ladder 1, designated "Truck 1" on July 1, 1974, is pictured here with Car 30, a white 1966 Ford station wagon that was assigned to the shift commanders. (See next article - below)
May 1, 1968 - Maselli Fireplace Center (Whitney Legal Photo)
Ventilation (Whitney Legal Photo)
(Whitney Legal Photo)
Today - although it is now #3551 Whitney Avenue (Government Solutions)
This new 1966 Ford wagon replaced the 1961 Ford sedan used by the Deputy Chiefs. (Photo courtesy of Chan Brainard)
Two bids for a new deputy chiefs' car were opened at the December 13, 1965 meeting of the Hamden Board of Fire Commissioners. A bid of $2,435.68 was turned in by Bradford Ford (now Bob Thomas Ford), $150.06 lower than the bid received from Partyka Chevrolet. The Commission voted unanimously to purchase the Ford wagon, which is pictured above shortly after its delivery.
The relationship between Chief V. Paul Leddy and the Board of Fire Commissioners was generally a very good one. However, the selection of the color white for the new deputy chiefs' (shift commander) car may have been the Fire Commission's final attempt at asserting its authority over the chief, who, unlike the Board, vehemently opposed any color but red for Hamden's fire apparatus.
The new town charter that took effect just three weeks later on January 1, 1966 greatly curtailed the Fire Commission's power, giving the fire chief the authority to make almost all departmental decisions that previously required their approval. Five fire chiefs later, the Hamden Fire Department has yet to purchase another all-white vehicle.
The white '66 wagon eventually became the Superintendent's car when the "deputies" got a new 1970 Ford wagon - a RED one. Several years later the '66 wagon was sold to a private party for $25.