Hamden's Gamewell alarm system required many miles of cable, some of which was run below grade. In this October 1967 Hamden Chronicle photo, Superintendent of Alarms & Apparatus Clem Wetmore, far right, and Assistant Superintendent Richard "Richie" Lostritto, second from right, are supervising the laying of underground alarm cable on Dixwell Avenue. Firefighters Paul Wetmore Sr. (in the manhole), Bob Slater (left) and Bill LaVelle are assisting the Shop crew.
Richie Lostritto was appointed Superintendent when Supt. Clem Wetmore retired at the end of the following year. Clem's son, Paul, would become Lostritto's assistant. The younger Wetmore moved up to Superintendent when Lostritto retired in 1985. Appointed Deputy Fire Chief in 1991, Wetmore eventually became Chief of the Department in 1993. He retired in 1996.
Although it is still in use today in some other communities, the Gamewell fire alarm system was discontinued by Hamden in 1998, by which time wireless alarm systems and the increased use of cell phones had rendered the 19th century technology of the telegraph alarm system obsolete.
Supt. Clem Wetmore passed away in 1995 at age 91. The other four men in this 50-year old photo are still with us, and all are members of the HFRA.
1981 - Platoon 1 at Station 2 (CLICK to enlarge) - L-R: Firefighters Tom Conway, Bill Coppola, Mike Murray (kneeling), Hugh McLean, Paul Petrillo (on running board), Gene Maturo, John Corbett, Bernie Early, and Jack Mordecai.
The 1965 Mack was Engine 9, manned by Maturo and McLean when this photo was taken by Dave Strawhince. It was probably at the Shop for fuel. The front of the yellow Chevy appears to be the van that belonged to Lt. Walt Macdowall (not pictured), who was the Pl. 1 officer at Station 2 in those days.
Bernie Early and Gene Maturo both retired in the late 1980s and died within four months of each other in 1997.
FF. Tony Melillo, D/C John Tramontano, and Ff. Chick Manware - CLICK photo to view video
35 Years Ago!
Mountain Rescue Team Sunday, October 31, 1982
When three Branford teenagers got lost after dark on Sleeping Giant State Park, HFD's Mountain Rescue Team was called in. Fortunately, the kids turned up after police dogs located them only a short distance from the ranger station.
WTNH Channel 8 News covered the incident. Several of the Mountain Rescue Team members, including Chick Manware, Tony Melillo, John Tramontano and Ed Charbonneau, can be seen in the news report.
CLICK on the pdf icon above and print this coupon for a discounted admission for two.
The Hamden Historical Society has been a huge supporter of the HFRA since the beginning. Their annual fundraiser, the Giant Valley Antiques Show at the Miller Library Cultural Center is coming up on Saturday and Sunday, November 4 and 5. They support us - please support them.