Pete Lynch Sworn In as the HFD's Newest Company Officer
He brings impressive credentials and experience to his new role
Mayor Curt Balzano-Leng and Asst. Chief Charles Lubowicki look on as Chief Gary Merwede welcomes the large crowd of family, friends, and co-workers for the swearing-in of Lieut. Pete Lynch last Monday morning in the Town Hall rotunda. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
A large gathering met once again in Hamden's Memorial Town Hall rotunda last Monday morning as Peter Lynch, an eight-year department veteran, took the oath to serve as the Hamden Fire Department's newest company officer.
In opening remarks, Chief Gary Merwede noted that Lieut. Lynch has served as a firefighter/paramedic since he started on the job on November 15, 2011, having served previously with the New London Fire Department. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Safety Administration and is working toward a master's degree in Fire Science and Public Safety Management at the University of New Haven.
The Chief said that Lieut. Lynch's personnel file contains a thick stack of certificates and certifications. "Peter has received unit citations and awards for his actions on the fireground in his emergency medical interventions on-scene including, most recently, from the Medical Director at Yale Center for EMS, for the flawless performance of a high-stress low frequency surgical airway procedure performed in the field last November."
Lieut. Lynch will be assigned to his new crew at Station 3 on Platoon 2. The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association congratulate Lieut. Lynch on this important career milestone and wish him all the very best in his new role as company officer.
Town Clerk Vera Morrison administers the oath.
Pam pins on the badge - It's Official!
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Lieut. Kevin P. Martin recently introduced this website to a fairly new tool in the department's arsenal that can lift vehicles and other heavy objects more safely in certain hazardous situations where airbags sometimes just won't work.
The TL-9 Stabilizer was designed by retired Waterbury Fire Department Captain Tony Lecca to work in conjunction with the Hurst tool by providing a flat surface to stabilize the lower jaw while the upper jaw raises the object.
Lieut. Martin wrote the website, "There are two units in service, one on Engine 2 and one on Squad 1. Both have custom plywood bases that add additional stability and weight distribution during a lift.
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"When put into operation, the spreaders would be opened several inches. Then the bottom jaw of the spreader is placed into the TL-9, and the top jaw of the spreader is used to push up against whatever object you are trying to lift.
"When the bottom jaw of the spreader has pushed the pin up to the top of the side towers, you have reached the maximum suggested lifting height (which is about 70% of the spreader opening capability)."
The website wishes to thank Paul J. De Bartolomeo (T & J Rescue Enterprises LLC. & CT Custom Fire Training LLC.) for use of his two photos of the TL-9 Stabilizer, and suggest that our web visitors check out his website for more information on this outstanding tool:
With Pete Lynch's promotion earlier this week and the contribution of Lieut. Martin's information regarding the TL-9 Stabilizer (above), it is only fitting that the website offer this YouTube segment, taped in 2012. Enjoy!
On November 30, 2012, Hamden then-Firefighters K.P. Martin and Pete Lynch appeared on the Firehouse Friday segment of Connecticut Style on WTNH Channel 8 in New Haven, Connecticut. The two men started with the presentation of a check to support the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital, raised by Local 2687 through fundraisers held earlier in the year.
Later in the program, Martin and Lynch demonstrated their special firehouse (Lynch's mom's) recipe for making a meatloaf. Really a great recipe. Also featured are several photos of various department activities.
A truly polished presentation, Lynch's delivery is poised and professional, and gives one the impression that he has had previous television experience. Enjoy - great recipe!
This 1924 Stutz 350 g.p.m. pumper was purchased in April 1924 for the Whitneyville Annex Fire Co. (Merritt Street) for $7,150. It weighed 11,000 lbs. and had a tank capacity of 70 gallons. It served as Engine 6 until April 1942, when it was "disposed of" and replaced by the 1926 Maxim 500 g.p.m. pumper, formerly of Highwood Co. 1.
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Thanks to the Hamden Historical Society for providing this April 1924 delivery photo of a new 350 g.p.m. Stutz pumper to the Whitneyville Annex Volunteer Fire Co. 6. The gentleman turning the manual siren is identified as August Schoepfer. The man in the driver's seat is not identified. The company was renamed Merritt Street Co. 6 the following year.
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The photo taken around 1930 shows paid driver George Benton at the wheel of the '24 Stutz. The Merritt volunteers are all decked out for a parade. Standing are, from left to right, Michael Parillo, James Clerkin, Oliver Abed (on tailboard), Michael Lipinsky, James Minahan, August Schoepfer, Lawrence Spahr, John Schoepfer, Michael Durso, William Meldrum, and John Kimler. Capt. Harry Stein is sitting next to paid driver George Benton. (Arthur J. Tefft photo)
Firefighter Clem Kammerer
Helping With Family Research
The photo at left was sent to the website in 2012 by Barbara LaReau. The Hamden firefighter pictured is Mrs. LaReau's great-grandfather, Clement Kammerer, who is standing in front of the 1924 Stutz at the Merritt Street fire station. The photo was taken sometime before April 1942, when the Stutz was retired.
While researching her family tree, Mrs. LaReau had contacted the HFRA hoping we had information on Ff. Kammerer. We were happy to know that the HFRA website was helpful in her pursuit of family information and were pleased to provide her with more photos of her great-grandfather.
Clem Kammerer joined the Hamden Fire Department on January 29, 1928 and served with several HFRA members who were on the job in the 1950s, including Richie Lostritto, who remembers him fondly.
Firefighter Kammerer retired on November 1, 1959. He passed away on June 15, 1973 at the age of 78.
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Firefighter Robert Reutenauer is seated on the passenger side of the Stutz in this 1939 photo taken at Putnam Avenue. Partially hidden by the after-market windshield is Firefighter Clem Kammerer, in the driver's seat. Both men were assigned to Merritt Street. Reutenauer's son, George, was among the first of the department's postwar recruits. He rose to the rank of Deputy Chief (shift commander) and retired in 1984.
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The driver of the 1924 Stutz in the above 1947 photo is identified as Harold Lewis. The fellow on the running board at the far right is Fred Baumgardt. The helmeted gentleman atop the truck is George Hindinger, Sr., who served on the Board of Fire Commissioners in the 1950s and 1960s.
Another passenger is identified as Co. 8 member Soren Hansen, who celebrated his 80th birthday about the time this photo was taken.
The 1942 Hamden Town Report listed the pumper as having been "disposed of." However, this photo, scanned from "Commemorative History 1947," by the Dunbar Community Club and Dunbar Hill Fire Assn., clearly shows the Stutz pumper that had been Engine 6.
Even though old department records state that Dunbar Hill's Engine 8 had been Centerville's old 1925 Seagrave Suburbanite from 1939 until 1957, the 1924 Stutz was at Dunbar Hill when this 1947 photo was snapped. Perhaps it was serving as a spare for the 1925 Seagrave when this photo was taken.
Further evidence that the 1924 Stutz pumper survived well after it was "disposed of" in 1942 is this May 18, 1950 article from The Hamden Chronicle (at right), which mentions Co. 7 member Dwight Kirk as the "private owner" of a 1924 Stutz pumper.
It is likely that the 400-gallon water tank mentioned in the article was added to the pumper by Mr. Kirk. If fire ever broke out on his West Shepard Avenue farm, he could mount a meaningful fire attack while municipal apparatus was en route.
Whatever happened to the 1924 Stutz? Former Chief Paul Wetmore and his brother Jim both recalled the existence of an ancient fire engine wasting away in the field behind their dad's Shepard Avenue home in the 1950s. Maybe that was it.
Those of us who worked at Station 4 will always remember Flo, who lived next door and who dropped in frequently, usually with a supply of candies and other goodies for the firefighters who worked there. For years, Flo Strong worked at the Brown Stone House, Reilly's, and Hamden Townehouse, as well as the Elks. She was a sweet soul who loved to stop by to chat with her firefighters at 4s.
We're very sad to report that Flo passed away last Monday, just sixteen days from her 100th birthday. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Saturday, June 29th from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden.
I want to reassure our loyal website visitors that ending the weekly Friday updates is not the end of the website. The HFRA website is not going away. It is simply taking on a new format.
Instead of a new Home page posted each week with four or more features, the website will feature a new Home page each month, starting out empty, with new stuff being added occasionally all during the month.
We will continue to share photos and stories about appointments, promotions, news about our members (both happy and sad), features about department and fire service innovations and, of course, the stories about our past.
Next week will be the start of the usual Summer Bulletin Board, which took the place of the July and August Home pages several years ago.
In September, with the start of each new month, the previous month's Home page will be archived exactly like the weekly Home pages have been since April 2011. The last two month's Home pages will be accessible to all visitors, and all archived Home pages will be accessible to HFRA members and subscribers.
I also want to reiterate an invitation that was made to our members at the very start of this website ten years ago. Our retirees and active department members are encouraged to submit contributions to this website. It is OUR website, and there's lots to share.