May 1982 - Rescue 1 with Firefighter/Paramedics Bob Surprise and Howie Hurlburt, Jr.
When retired Fire Chief Tramontano was the department's training officer (1981-84), he played a key role in spreading the news about the Hamden Fire Department. On his own dime and with his own camera, Tramontano shot hundreds of slides of Hamden firefighters in the performance of their duties, which he then organized into slideshows for presentation in Hamden's schools, service clubs and fraternal organizations.
Shortly after the HFRA was organized two years ago, Chief Tramontano donated his collection of slides to our archives. Here are three slides shot by then-Deputy Chief Tramontano in the spring of 1982. Firefighter/Paramedics Bob Surprise and Howie Hurlburt, Jr. are shown with Rescue 1, to which they were assigned on Platoon 4.
The Hamden volunteer fire company, from which more than two dozen members joined the career department, turns 100 this week with a dinner at the Elks' tonight.
The organizational meeting of the Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. was held on Monday, November 8, 1911 at St. Mary's Hall on Whitney Avenue, which stood near the present site of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.
The company's first president was Arthur E. Woodfruff, Hamden's First Selectman from 1907 to 1908; Recording Secretary was the current Hamden Town Clerk, Almon J. Deane, who would serve twenty-four more years as Town Clerk.
Among those Mt. Carmel alumni who joined the "paid department" were former Chiefs V. Paul Leddy (1941-1984) and John Tramontano (1959-93); Fire Marshal Al Purce (1926-68); Deputy Chiefs Walt Macdowall (1965-91) and Clark Hurlburt (1980-2010); and Batt. Chiefs. James W. Strain (1942-73), Francis Leddy (1946-86), Gilbert Spencer (1957-92), and Tom Doherty (1961-96).
St. Mary's Hall on Whitney Avenue (Photo courtesy of the Hamden Historical Society)
Posing on the northside of Station 5, the company prepares for the Connecticut State Firemen's Convention Parade in East Hartford. In this group of Co. 5 members are future career members James W. Strain (standing third from left), Albert Purce (in front of Strain) and Emil Strain (standing third from right) Photo courtesy of Gil Spencer
One present and four future career guys in this 1954 photo.
1990 - Chief John Tramontano (far left) and former Chief V. Paul Leddy (far right) help celebrate the mortgage burning for the Station 5 annex with Mayor John Carusone, former Mayor Lucien DiMeo and Co. 5 Captain Karl Olson.
September 8, 1973 - New Haven Fire School on Hamilton Street. Five present and future career members in this photo. Engine 5 driver that day was Bob "Whitey" Williams, standing on the extreme right-hand side of the photo (Ed Doiron, Sr.)
1967 - Fire Marshal Al Purce and Chief V. Paul Leddy are pictured here with four other gentleman at what is believed to have been the 20th anniversary of Visel's Service Station at the corner of Day Spring Street and Whitney Avenue. Check out the gasoline prices! (Mongillo photo)
November 1969 Ground Broken For Laurel View Clubhouse
Leddy and O'Donnell in Attendance
Chief V. Paul Leddy and Marshal Bob O'Donnell can be seen among the dignitaries. Mayor William Adams is shown with the shovel on the right. (Photo courtesy of Clark Hurlburt) CLICK to enlarge
(Photo courtesy of Clark Hurlburt) CLICK to enlarge
Website thanks go to Clark Hurlburt, who sent these photos of the November 1969 ground breaking of the clubhouse at the Laurel View Country Club.
Thanks to Jim Beirne for sending this great ad from Fire Engineering (Jan. 1959) that featured our new Maxim 75' Junior aerial ladder truck, delivered on November 19, 1958.
Dispatcher Carol Conway, one of eleven original Central Communications dispatchers.
"Attention, stand by for a dispatch . . ."
years ago, on November 19, 1981, 9-1-1 service came to Hamden. With a total of
eleven cross-trained civilian dispatchers, the
dispatch facilities of the Hamden fire and police departments were
combined into one unit called "Central Communications."
When Hamden or North Haven
residents with telephone prefixes of 248, 281 or 288 dialed 9-1-1, their
calls were answered at Hamden's public safety answering position (PSAP)
at Central. North Haven residents with Hamden telephone prefixes had their 9-1-1 calls forwarded manually to North Haven.
9-1-1 calls from Hamden residents with New Haven prefixes (562, 624, 777, etc.) were answered at New Haven, then forwarded to Hamden. The introduction of Enhanced 9-1-1 in 1988 enabled the telephone company to have all Hamden residents' 9-1-1 calls answered at Central.
Central Communications was located in the basement of the old Miller Memorial
Library. The facility was renovated and enlarged in 1990. It will soon move to the new
annex of the old Memorial Town Hall.
1963 - Dispatcher Wilbur Baker in the Alarm Room
Central Communications, all Hamden fire dispatching was
performed in the "Alarm Room," a small room up a few stairs at the rear of the apparatus floor at Station 4. The fire dispatchers, each assigned to a platoon, were
all experienced uniformed members of the Hamden Fire Department.
Comprehensive Employment Training Act (CETA), enacted in the mid-1970s, provided federal funding to municipalities to hire and train
individuals to fill various positions. In 1976, Hamden hired
civilian fire dispatchers under the CETA program. The uniformed Hamden
responsible for dispatching, Ray Carofano, Wilbur Baker, Russ Norman and
Bob "Ace" Callahan, all of them on the job for decades, were
placed back on the line.
Eventually, four full-time civilian fire dispatchers were
hired and assigned to work the same 42-hour work schedule as the firefighters,
3-on-3-off. However, their schedules were not in sync with the four platoons. A
civilian dispatcher's first day (or night) on duty was always the last
day (or night) of the platoon.
When the Hamden Fire Department's
four dispatchers moved over to Central Communications, they joined four Hamden Police
Department dispatchers and three additional employees, all civilians,
working a 40-hour week on three eight hour shifts. Eventually, all eleven were cross-trained in fire and police dispatch procedures.
1982 - Central Communications dispatcher Marge Gambardella, now Marge Yacano, at the fire dispatch position in the original location of Central Communications (Photo by John Tramontano)
1953 newspaper article courtesy of Gil Spencer - CLICK to enlarge for easier reading.
January 1955 - Firefighter Bill Hines pumping with the new 1954 Maxim 750 pumper. Bill was promoted to lieutenant the following year and was still an active department member when he passed away in May 1979 following a brief illness. (Photo by Thomas Waite)