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Hamden Fire Retirees' Association
FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011 Website is updated every Friday - Important interim updates will be posted when necessary
June 3, 2001
Ten years ago, Bob Mordecai took these photos of a nasty auto accident that demolished a late model Cadillac on Whitney Avenue in Mt. Carmel. This was when the 1990 Pierce aerial ladder truck was running out of Station 5 as "Truck 5." Lieutenants Brian Forsyth and Gary Couture, and Firefighters Ed Emerson, Kerry Castracane, Mike Green, Sam DeBurra, and Gary Greene are some of the personnel who can be identified in these photos.
Another Caddy Bites the Dust 1961
Photo courtesy of Gil Spencer (Photographer not identified)
It's not exactly clear just where in Hamden these 1961 photos were taken - looks like it might be State Street. In the photo below, a guy who looks like rookie Hamden Police Officer Ed Kopjanski (beside the tree) is among the cops investigating this accident that took out this 1956 Cadillac convertible Six years later, Officer Kopjanski became Firefighter Kopjanski. Ed retired in 1984.
Photo courtesy of Gil Spencer (Photographer not identified)
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011 Website is updated every Friday - Important interim updates will be posted when necessary
Photo by Ed Doiron, Sr.
At first glance, the apparatus in the foreground in this summer 1974 photo looks like Engine 3, the 1973 Maxim Telesqurt. But the cab-mounted turret nozzle says otherwise. It's Engine 4, Hamden's 1973 Maxim 1000 GPM pumper with the foam delivery system. The Telesqurt is parked right behind. The older Maxim is Engine 5, the 1954 750 GPM. The flatside compartments (not visible in the photo) and the 10 lugnuts on the front wheels distinguish this pumper from the almost identicial 1951 and 1952 models.
The apparatus are just inside the Dixwell Avenue parking lot to the old Centerville School (now the Miller Library), where the Fire Chief's Office had been moved a few months earlier. Previously, the Chief's Office was on the second floor of the town hall right above the north entrance just south of Station 4.
November 1957, Eastern Atlantic Lumber Co., 50 Circular Avenue - Nozzleman, Firefighter Burt Hillocks, with Vol. Co. 5's R.K. Spencer and Vol. Co. 8's Bill Hindinger. Fire Chief R.C. Spencer, in white helmet and bunker gear, can be seen emerging from doorway in background. CLICK to enlarge.
Joe Rahl and Tom Doherty at Co. 5's Centennial Field Day on June 5th. They were among more than a half dozen HFD retirees in attendance who got their start at Co. 5. CLICK for more photos.
The U.S. flag may be ordered to half-staff by the President of the United States, any state Governor, or the Mayor of the District of Columbia. For the benefit of everyone who flies the Flag, we are putting a flag status link to the top of the website.
June 17, 2011 - The week marks the second anniversary of the Hamden Fire Retirees' Association's website. Thanks to the generous contributions of photos and stories from dozens of HFD retirees and other fans of the website, we have published hundreds of photographs and scores of articles about past and present members of the Hamden Fire Department. The website is on target to have 30,000 hits by next week.
We are staying connected and preserving our past.
Where or When?
This photo has no date or location. The 1952 Dodge maintenance truck, being used as a ladder pipe, suggests that it is prior to the December 1958 delivery of the Maxim 75' "Junior" aerial ladder truck. Do any of the real old-timers know anything about this job? (Posted 6/17/11)
Ed. Note: This fire was eventually identified by Clark Hurlburt in April 2012. CLICK on the photo (or below) to view the answer along with other photos from that fire.
Over the years, those of us who worked at "new" Station 3 spent literally hundreds of hours at the watch desk.
On any given day we often take our surroundings for granted. But let a few decades pass and the surroundings that we once took for granted may seem a bit "quaint." Check out these two photos of the view from the Station 3 watch desk, taken thirty-three years apart.
June 15, 1978 - Watch Desk - Station 3 - CLICK to enlarge the photo and see if you can spot at least three items that are not found in Hamden fire stations today. Scroll down slowly to the bottom of the photo to see the answers.
June 3, 2011 - Almost the same vantage point. The artifacts in the 1978 photo have been replaced by a 21st century computer printer for receiving dispatches, and a flat screen TV. Ahh, but that cup hook for the keys is still there. Still gotta have keys! (CLICK to enlarge)
Every Wednesday - 25 panes times 6. And then there were the rest of the windows!
A retired Hamden fireifghter and regular website
visitor noted that the more recent photo on the right-hand side above shows the insulated overhead
doors that were installed after the front of Station 3 was unexpectedly
remodeled in the late 1980s when the 1970 ladder truck backed into one
of the center columns. The center bay door was heightened and all six front and rear overhead doors could now be opened and closed by just pushing a
button. The original all-glass overhead doors were opened by the tug of
a rope and closed by sheer manpower.
Those old overhead doors
provided a nice view of the apparatus for passersby, but they were a
pain-in-the-neck to wash (inside and out) every Wednesday, the day the
windows in every Hamden fire station were supposed to be washed ("W" for
"windows, "W" for "Wednesdays" - get it?).
May 1970 - During a training session near Lake Whitney, Lt. Joe McDermott and Firefighters Walt Vining and Dick Stacey check out the pump panel of Engine 3, one of the two 1968 Maxim "S" models. Photo by Ed Doiron, Sr.
1971 - Summertime ladder demonstration at the rear of the high school. Ff. John Reilly is in the foregound, with Ff. Rick Kenyon right behind. Ff. Harry Cubbellotti is on the turntable of Ladder 1. It looks like the ladder pipe is being fed by a pumper just out of camera range. This truck, which was delivered more than 12 years earlier, was repainted red and fitted with a soft top shortly after this photo was taken.