We are deeply saddened to report the passing on October 4th of retired Hamden Firefighter Edward C. Doiron, at Connecticut Hospice in Branford, following a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's disease.
Ed served on the Hamden Fire Department from November 1964 until his retirement in June 1993. He was a charter member of the Hamden Professional Firefighters Association, Local 2687, I.A.F.F. and served as the local's first treasurer from 1979 to 1993. Ed also was a founding member of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association, Inc. in 2009.
Ed's family invites all friends to call at Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, next Thursday, October 12th, from 4 to 7 p.m. Services will take place at Beecher and Bennett on Friday, October 13th at 10 a.m.
Please keep Ed's family in your thoughts and prayers at this sad time.
36th Annual National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend: October 7 and 8, 2017
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that U.S. and state flags in Connecticut will be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Sunday, October 8, 2017, in recognition of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service, an annual observance honoring the sacrifices of fallen firefighters throughout the country. Accordingly, since no flag should fly higher than the U.S. flag, all other flags – including state, municipal, corporate, or otherwise – should also be lowered during this same duration of time.
New Haven Journal-Courier, Thursday, October 4, 1962 (Chan Brainard.)
This revealing newspaper article from fifty-five years ago this week illustrates the age-old conflicts that sometimes arise between Hamden's guardian service professionals and the political establishment.
With department manpower at 70 personnel, Chief V. Paul Leddy had urged the Town to add one new position to each of the three platoons, noting that the manpower ratio had changed when the department went from a 67-hour workweek to a 56-hour workweek twelve years earlier.
The proposed positions had been eliminated from the 1962-63 budget because First Selectman John DeNicola Sr. thought department manpower was in line with that of other Connecticut towns of similar size.
However, Leddy suggested that such comparisons were not a valid way to determine Hamden's needs. Citing National Board of Fire Underwriters recommendations of four personnel per engine company, Chief Leddy noted that some Hamden engine companies (Engines 5 and 6) were manned with only two firefighters and, at times, with only one.
In the years that followed, DeNiclola opposed the 42-hour workweek for Hamden firefighters, which was finally adopted in 1967 through a town-wide referendum, and implemented three years later.
This photo of Firefighters Warren Blake and John McKee was taken by Firefighter Stan Brown around 1965. Stan was an amateur photographer, many of whose photos have been preserved by Chan Brainard. Chan recently donated many of his own photos and hundreds of HFD-related newspaper articles from 1955 through the 1990s.
Warren Blake (1923-2009) was appointed on April 16, 1949, and John McKee (1920-2006) six months later. Blake served for 30 years before retiring in April 1979. McKee retired in June 1985 after serving 36 years. At the time this photo was taken, both men were on old Platoon 1. After the start of the 42-hour workweek, they were both assigned to Platoon 2.
This is the view looking north on Whitney Avenue at Dixwell 93 years ago. The new Memorial Town Hall at left is still under construction, as evidenced by the scaffolding seen in the photo. The original town hall, completed in 1888, was only 36 years old when it was torn down to make way for the much larger edifice that took its place. The small Centerville fire station, constructed in 1907, was also razed for the project.
1924 - Whitney and Dixwell (Photo courtesy of the Hamden Historical Society)
The Malovolti Building, formerly the Sackett Hotel, on the northeast corner of Whitney and Dixwell, was razed after being gutted by fire in February 1941. The site remained vacant until the Brown Stone House Restaurant was built in 1949. Note the ancient gas lit street lamp on the corner.
In addition to Memorial Town Hall, several other structures in this photo remain standing today, including the brick building right across the street, and the wood frame building just north of it. The building just north of the town hall was razed in April 2013 to make way for the annex to Elis-on-Whitney.
This week marks the 146th anniversary of the infamous Chicago fire, and the less heralded but far more deadly Peshtigo, Wisconsin fire which occurred the same day. The Great Chicago Fire gave rise to Fire Prevention Week, observed annually throughout the U.S. during the second week of October. For many years, the Hamden Fire Department conducted various firefighting and fire prevention demonstrations at the Hamden Plaza and Mart.
I.A. Sneiderman photo
55 Years Ago
In the above photo, dated October 12, 1962, Chief V. Paul Leddy and Supt. Clem Wetmore observe a young lady showing how to transmit a fire alarm from a Gamewell box during a Fire Prevention Week demonstration at the Hamden Plaza. The young lady in the photo was (and is) the wife of a Hamden firefighter, who retired as a B/C thirty years later. She is also closely related to a present HFD B/C.
Gamewell boxes numbered in the 800s were assigned to schools. Box 815, shown in this demo mock-up, was Margaret L. Keefe School (now the M.L. Keefe Center) on Pine Street. Hamden's Gamewell system was in service until 1998.
Photo by Ed Doiron Jr.
30 Years Ago
October 10, 1987 - During a Fire Prevention Week demonstration twenty-five years later, Hamden firefighters demonstrate FFFP foam on a combustible liquid fire right next door at the Hamden Mart.