The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association wish all of our website visitors a very happy and meaningful Thanksgiving.
Ff. Tom Paranzino
The Tradition Continues
(November 27) - Richie Maybury and John Longo began organizing the first Thanksgiving "Turkey Drop-offs" in the 1990s. For the next two decades it was run by newly-retired Lt. Jeff Pechmann. Last year, Jeff announced that he was handing the job over to Firefighter Tom Paranzino, who did an outstanding job organizing active and retired firefighters for this year's deliveries of turkeys and Stop & Shop gift cards, which took place yesterday.
CLICK HERE to view yesterday's photos of Local 2687 members delivering turkeys and gift cards to the Hamden Senior Center and M.L. Keefe Center.
(November 16th) - This Monday, November 18th, our own Clark Hurlburt, Dep. Chief HFD (Ret.), will have open-heart / by-pass surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.
We wish Clark a full and speedy recovery. Once he's ready, several of us retirees will treat him to a stellar evening with Otis Day & the Knights at the Dexter Lake Club. Bring your own dates.
(November 19th) - Good news! Clark got out of the ICU earlier today, two days earlier than expected. He's very tired and sore, but he's doing very well. He appreciates the members' concern and expects to be home in a few days.
(Nov. 15) - The shift calendars for 2020 and 2021 have been added to the Calendar webpage.
Lieut. Jason Menard
Worcester, MA LODD
It is with a heavy heart that Chief Michael Lavoie announces the devastating loss of Lt. Jason Menard, a member of WFD since 2010 assigned to Ladder 5, Group 2 at McKeon Road Fire Station. He leaves behind his wife Tina, 3 children & parents. Please keep them in your prayers.
Fire Displaces First Street Family of Five
Fireplace Ashes to Blame - Good Stop
(November 13) - At 1:40 this afternoon, the Hamden Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at 113 First Street. First to arrive at 1:43, Engine 2 found heavy smoke coming from the rear of a two-story house. An attack line was stretched to the rear porch, which was heavily involved in fire but quickly knocked down.
Fire extended into the kitchen, where crews continued to extinguish hot spots and perform overhaul to check for any further extension. The fire was declared under control at 2:17 by Battalion Chief Ron Desroches.
One resident was home at the time of the fire but was able to evacuate safely before the department’s arrival. The displaced family of five is being provided temporary housing and assistance by the American Red Cross.
Fire Marshal Brian Dolan has determined that the fire was the result of hot fireplace ashes being disposed of in a plastic pail, then placed on the rear porch a few hours before the fire was reported.
The Hamden Fire Department would like to remind residents to practice fire safety when removing ashes from a fireplace or wood stove. Using a fire-resistant metal ash shovel, scoop up the old ashes, then place them into a fire-resistant metal can with a tight-fitting lid. Never keep the metal can in or near your home, next to the firewood pile, against the garage, on or under a wooden deck or under a porch. Always keep it at least 10 feet away. And never use a paper bag, cardboard box, or plastic trash bag to dispose of ashes.
The article and photos were provided by the Fire Chief's Office.
Dep. Chief Joseph McDermott
Deputy Chief Joseph E. McDermott (1926 - 2019)
(November 9) - We have been notified and are deeply saddened to report the passing earlier today of retired Deputy Chief (Platoon Commander) Joseph McDermott, 93, who served on the department for 38 years.
Considered by many of his peers to be a "fireman's fireman," A veteran of World War II, Dep. Chief McDermott joined the department on May 11, 1953. He was one of the first driver's the department's first aerial ladder truck in 1958. In 1961, he was cited for saving the life of a one-year old toddler who had stopped breathing. He performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and revived the child, who had been brought to the fire station.
When a second lieutenant's position was added to each of the three platoons in 1963, McDermott was promoted to fill one of the three new slots and assigned to Platoon 1 on Engine 3 and Rescue 1 at old Station 3 on Putnam Avenue. With the 42-hour workweek in 1970, he was promoted to captain and assigned to Station 2 on the new Platoon 4. Three years later he was promoted to deputy chief and commanded Platoon 2 until his retirement. He received several commendations over the course of his career and was twice named Fireman of the Year.
Dep. Chief McDermott is survived by his loving wife Helen McDonough McDermott, a son Steven (Rita) McDermott of Middletown, grandchildren, Allison, Leah, Daniel, Rebecca and Emily and a great granddaughter Selma. He was predeceased by a daughter Patricia Pederson, a brother Vincent McDermott and his first wife Mildred Selmquist McDermott.
(November 12th) - A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated this morning at Church of the Ascension, 1040 Dunbar Hill Road, Hamden, with burial following at All Saints Cemetery, North Haven.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Helen and the rest of the McDermott family at this sad time.
The Hamden Fire Retirees Assn. is grateful to our brothers in the Hamden Police Department for their outstanding assistance to the McDermott family while escorting the funeral procession for Dep. Chief McDermott
from Church of the Ascension to All Saints Cemetery. Thank you!
Early Morning House Fire Routs 8 on Stanley Road
(Novmeber 8) - At 2:51 a.m. Friday morning, the Hamden Fire Department was dispatched to a fire in a one-story ranch style home at 89 Stanley Road.
Engine 2, first on scene, arrived within two minutes of the dispatch and reported heavy fire coming from an attached garage, which was quickly knocked down by suppression crews.
There was a heavy smoke condition throughout the home as crews checked for fire extension in the bedrooms directly above the fire. Fans were deployed to remove smoke and carbon monoxide from the house. The fire was declared under control at 3:33 a.m. by Battalion Chief Ronald Desroches.
Eight people were displaced from the home, including seven family members and a family friend. They are staying with family until they can reoccupy the house.
A male occupant stated that he awoke to hazy smoke in one of the bedrooms. He opened a door leading to the garage and saw that a vehicle was ablaze near the engine compartment. He quickly alerted the other occupants, and all were able to safely evacuate the home.
The Hamden Fire Department would like to remind all residents of the importance of working smoke detectors. Early detection gives you the best chance of survival in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors should be on each level of the home and in each bedroom.
CLICK TO ENLARGE
CLICK TO ENLARGE
The article and photos were provided by the Fire Chief's Office.
(November 8) - As all our web visitors know, this website in non-political and takes no sides, but when one of our own makes good in the political arena we think it is something worth sharing with his fellow retirees.
Last Tuesday, our own Bob ("Bobby V") Viglione, Captain HFD (Ret.), was up for re-election to the North Branford town council. Having garnered the most votes of any of the council electees, Bob is now the Mayor of North Branford. Congratulations, Bob, and good luck!
To read Wednesday's New Haven Register article, CLICK HERE.
65 Years Ago Platoon Commanders Elevated to Chief Officer Status
The Hamden Chronicle, November 1954 - Courtesy of Chan Brainard
When the Hamden Fire Department was re-organized under career fire officers in April 1942, the then-two platoon commanders were designated "Captain," each with one lieutenant as their second-in-command. In November 1954, the Hamden Board of Fire Commissioners elevated the then-three captain platoon commanders to chief officer status, calling them "Battalion Chief." Their lieutenants were summarily elevated to the rank of captain.
The department's three lieutenant positions were left vacant for two more years, when, in 1956, four veteran firefighters were promoted to that rank (CLICK HERE and scroll down). One was assigned to each platoon, and a fourth would become captain later that year, when one of the three captains was elevated to battalion chief training officer when that position was created.