We are in the process of archiving all weekly updates by the month. All of the weekly updates for this month are on this page.
Just scroll down to locate the desired update.
Hamden Fire Retirees' Association - Friday, April 1, 2011
The HFRA website will be updated once each week on Friday.
Important midweek updates will be made whenever necessary.
The Spring meeting of the HFRA is 3 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, at the Hamden Elks. Scroll down to view details.
Reminder cards have been mailed to all members in good standing.
Supt. Buechele, Dep. Chief Surprise, and Capt. Harrison - CLICK to enlarge
Still Going Strong
All of us remember working with these guys. Future HFRA members Supt. Don Buechele, Deputy Chief Bob Surprise and Capt. Dennis Harrison recently posed for this impromptu photo when the new tower arrived. Together, they have a total of 83 years on the job!
MLB play begins this week. So here are some ballgame memories from HFD's past.
Who is this slugger (a couple of years before we worked with him)? CLICK and find out.
Softball 1959 - Trophy Presentation with our own John O'Hare, second from left. For years, John was a coach of HFD's softball team. Lots of good times!
CLICK for CBS News Feature
March 25, 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. Fire New York City
One hundred years ago, 146 employees, mostly young women, perished in a tragic fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. in New York City.
Sweatshop conditions on the upper floors of the occupancy, including blocked fire doors, contributed to the horrendous death toll.
The Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire, which gave rise to the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union, would eventually result in improved conditions for garment workers and legislation to replace inadequate fire codes.
March 25, 2011 - 1991 Pierce Tower, 1990 Pierce Aerial, and 2011 Smeal Tower stand together before the '91 tower is traded in. CLICK for more pix.
Hamden's first motorized ladder truck was delivered 85 years ago, in March 1926. It cost approximately $8,000. (It was delivered with a new Maxim 500 GPM pumper. Together they cost $12,500.)
At 4:31 p.m. on March 19, 1941, Ff. David F. Howe was by himself at the wheel of Hamden's ladder truck. Miraculously, Ff. Howe was uninjured when his truck and a Connecticut Company trolley car tried to occupy the intersection of Dixwell and Mather at the same time. Old timers used to say that Ff. Howe was thrown clear of the truck with the steering wheel still in his hands.
The truck was deemed unsalvageable. It was traded in for a brand new 1941 Diamond-T city service ladder truck from the Wood Engineering Co. in Topsfield, Massachuetts, which was delivered the following year.
Hamden's new Smeal 100' midship-mounted platform arrived last week. Ff. Daryl Osiecki sent some new photos of the truck, which can be viewed by clicking on the photo above.
Hamden Fire Retirees' Association - Friday, April 8, 2011
113 Goodyear Street, New Haven Friday, May 10, 1985 - 4 AM
Hamden firefighters responded when a Hamden neighbor of this New Haven house notified Hamden Central Communications of a house fire on Goodyear Street. Hamden fire personnel arrived first to find it well involved. New Haven firefighters arrived shortly thereafter and together the two departments extinguished the blaze. Photos by Ed Doiron, Jr.
Patch Me In!
1973 - Mid-1990s
With the transition from khaki to dark blue work uniforms in 1972, the Hamden Fire Department adopted a shoulder patch design for all work shirts, dress shirts, blouses, and reefers, The cardboard prototypes (above) were found many years ago in a filing cabinet in the chief's office. The designs are believed to have been those of Deputy Chief Daniel Hume, department training officer from 1956 until his retirement in 1973.
The original patch design was green and gold, the official town colors. A mid-1990s modification added more colors. "FIRE DEPT" became red on a white background, surrounded by a dark blue border.
Mid-1990s - Present
Any idea where this 1951 Hamden location is, and what it looks like today? CLICK on the photo to find out.
c. 1982 - Ffs. Charlie Esposito, Frank Critchett and John Corbett testing foam on Sherman Avenue. Photo by Ed Doiron, Jr. (CLICK to enlarge)
September 6, 1980 - Motorized steamer in action at Engine 260 Muster. Photo by Harold Wheatley (CLICK to enlarge)
April 20-21, 1979 A Rare Double-Header Guts Two Hamden Businesses
Not a good night for Platoon 2, as back-to-back fires broke out at Corey's Lumber Company on Dixwell Avenue and the Howard Johnson's Restaurant on Whitney Avenue. CLICK on the photo to see newspaper photos and articles.
Hamden Fire Retirees' Association - Friday, April 22, 2011
H & D Paper Products Co. 110 Webb Street April 20-21, 1969
Last week, the website featured the back-to-back fires at Corey's Lumber Co. and Howard Johnson's. Exactly ten years to the day earlier on a quiet Sunday evening, one of its most spectacular blazes in Hamden Fire Department history struck the H&D Paper Products Co. at 110 Webb Street. The loss was estimated at $500,000.
CLICK on the photo to view photos taken at the height of the blaze and several newspaper articles.
The Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Company kicked off its Centennial Celebration on April 26th with a reunion of past and present members, many of whom went on to careers on the Hamden Fire Department. Several non-members who were assigned to Station 5 during the 1950s, 60s and 70s were also invited. The gathering took place at the Hamden Elks Lodge.
Mt. Carmel, organized in November 1911, is the longest continuously serving Hamden volunteer fire company. Ten percent of all career firefighters who have served on the Hamden Fire Department since 1925 began their fire service careers as volunteers at Mt. Carmel, including Chief V. Paul Leddy (1960-84) and Chief John Tramontano (1984-93).
Bill Bossoli, Joe Rahl, and Richie Lostritto (CLICK image to read the story)
The Hamden Fire Department was created in 1925, when all seven volunteer companies in existence at the time came under the authority of the Board of Fire Commissioners and volunteer officers. By 1926, the Highwood, Humphrey, Whitneyville, Centerville, Mt. Carmel and Merritt Street fire companies all had paid drivers - the earliest Hamden career fire personnel (see 1927 roster below).
In April 1942, the Hamden Fire Department was reorganized under a paid chief, Raymond C. Spencer; two captains, Joseph Hromadka and Albert Purce; and two lieutenants, Everett Doherty and Roland Ruwet. The Highwood company disbanded in 1951 when Engine 1 and Hook & Ladder No. 1 were moved to the Humphrey station and their quarters at Dixwell and Morse were sold to a private buyer.
The Humphrey, Whitneyville, Centerville and Merritt Street volunteers were still active following the Second World War. But within the next decade these companies became inactive, having become social clubs. Humphrey volunteers turned their building over to the Town in August 1949, but continued meet as a social association on the second floor of Station 2. Whitneyville sold its Putnam Avenue station to the Town in 1950 for $16,000, on the condition that they retain their meeting quarters upstairs. The Merritt Street and Whitneyville stations were sold to private buyers after new Station 3 was opened in 1970.
The Mix District Co. 7 and Dunbar Hill Co. 8 volunteers have remained continuously active since they were organized in 1924 and 1926, respectively. The West Woods Volunteer Fire Association (Co. 9), established in 1956, went inactive in the late 1980s.
Additional Co. 5 Centennial observances this year include a family field day on June 5th at Brooksvale Park and a Centennial Dinner at the Elks on Friday, November 11th.