Once again, Local 2687 and Chief David Berardesca invite all HFD retirees who still have their dress blues to join the active HFD members in Hamden's 2018 Memorial Day Parade next Monday, May 28th.
HFD personnel and retirees in their dress blues are asked to assemble on the parkway side of Hamden High School at 0930 hours. The parade starts at 1000, and will proceed up Dixwell Avenue from the high school to Whitney Avenue.
Participation in Hamden's Memorial Day Parade has always been a tangible way for our firefighters to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the defense of our country. It is also a time to remember our deceased brothers who once marched with us.
The HFRA wishes everyone a safe and meaningful Memorial Day!
At 2:30 p.m. on Memorial Day, the residents of the Honor Hill neighborhood in Mount Carmel will dedicate a granite memorial marker to honor the five soldiers for whom their streets are named: Major Pierce Irving Robertson, Captain Oscar Biehl Jr., Specialist 4th Class Ralph Paul Costanzo, Corporal Donald Porter Ferguson, and Corporal Robert Berton Read.
The public is invited. The dedication will conclude at 3:00 p.m. with the traditional one-minute National Moment of Remembrance, observed each Memorial Day. Take Ann's Farm Road to Read Road to Costanzo Court.
It is hoped that residents who live on other streets named for Hamden's fallen will be inspired to create similar tributes in their neighborhoods, to remember always those who sacrificed all their tomorrows for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Davenport Residence Fire 125 Putnam Avenue Wednesday, May 25, 1988
New Haven Register, Thursday, May 26, 1988 - Courtesy of Mike Ambriscoe - CLICK TO ENLARGE
CLICK to view Davenport Fire video
The Hamden Fire Department was challenged to the max thirty years ago this week, when fire broke out in the first-floor library at the Davenport Residence at 125 Putnam Avenue, sending smoke throughout the eight story apartment building for the elderly.
CLICK on top photo to view a ten minute video that was produced by the department's training division. Amateur videos, TV news videoes, and actual HFD radio transmissions illustrate the extraordinary efforts put forth by Hamden's firefighters, as well as those of the Bethany, Cheshire, New Haven, and North Haven departments, from the time of dispatch until the fire was out and the building completely evacuated.
An effective incident command system, early calls for mutual aid, and the C-MED emergency medical disaster plan all dovetailed perfectly to avert what would have been a major tragedy.
CLICK on the lower photo to view several news stories that were provided by the WTNH-8 and WFSB-3 news departments. The video begins with a scene from the final episode of an iconic 1980s NBC television series that was being broadcast at the exact moment the Gamewell alarm was being transmitted from the scene. A few minutes later came the news bulletin during the 11 o'clock news on Channel 8.
Revised and re-posted 5/24/13
CLICKI to view Davenport news stories
BOX 293 - Located on the Clifford Street side of Davenport Residence
Below, a continuation of the above front page story featured John Mongillo Jr's photo of Capt. Bill Coppola leading one of many elderly residents that he and his crew had rescued during the mass evacuation of the smoke-filled Davenport Residence.
Mutual aid came from New Haven, Bethany, North Haven, and Cheshire. In this photo, Chief John Tramontano directs the crew of New Haven's Truck 6, commanded by NHFD Lieut. Clyde Stewart, as it sets up in the parking area off Clifford Street.
This image below was captured from a video made by the training division a few weeks after the fire, recreating the mutual aid response to the Davenport fire by New Haven's Truck 6. However, it is not the same Truck 6 pictured above at the Davenport Residence fire. When Truck 6 returned to quarters from Hamden on the morning of May 26, 1988, the old Seagrave ladder truck was permanently removed from service, the Davenport Residence being its final run. It was New Haven's last truck equipped with wooden ground ladders.
New Haven Fire Department's Truck 6, quartered with Engine 8 at Whitney Avenue and Bishop Street.
May 25, 1988 is a significant date in the annals of the Hamden Fire Department. The Davenport Residence fire was arguably the most potentially disasterous emergency in Hamden's history, with the lives of nearly 200 souls in peril.
Platoon 2, under the direction of Cmdr. (B/C) Joe McDermott, was on duty that night. Firefighter Jim Dunlop was on Platoon 2. But Firefighter Jim Dunlop was not there that night. Firefighter Dunlop missed the whole thing, a fact he has never bemoaned.
Debbie and Rebecca Dunlop in 2000
Firefighter Jim Dunlop was very busy that night, handling another important incident. He was getting his better half, Debbie, to the hospital for the birth of their daughter, Rebecca "Becky" Dunlop - a good (and very pretty) excuse by any reasonable standard.
Rebecca Dunlop is now Mrs. Kevin Rowles. Becky and Kevin are now expecting their first child in July. The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association wish the Rowles all the best, and Becky a very Happy #30.
October 1983 - Both of Hamden's ladder trucks were attractions at the annual Fire Prevention Week Demonstration at the Hamden Mart. Ed Doiron, Jr., who took numerous color shots of the activities that day, reports that these interesting frontal views of both trucks were probably shot by his younger brother, John.
The last job where both of these trucks responded together was the May 25, 1988 fire at the Davenport Residence. The 1958 Maxim junior ladder was a reserve piece quartered at Station 9 at the time. When Engine 9 was dispatched to the scene on the 3rd alarm that night, Lieut. Bob Mordecai had his rider respond with the spare ladder truck.
Both trucks were removed from service less than two years later with a total of 52 years of service between them. In 1990 the department took delivery of a 105' rear mount Pierce "quint" aerial ladder truck. A 100' rear-mount Pierce Lance aerial platform truck was delivered in 1991.