This photo of Supt. of Alarms & Apparatus Richie Lostritto was scanned from the Venture, the Hamden High School yearbook for 1972, belonging to a close friend of the website. The unidentified photographer must have "caught" Richie while he was resetting Box 817 at Hamden High School. The master box was on the pedestal in front of the school and was activiated either at the box itself or, more likely, from the network of pull stations located throughout the school.
Richie came on the job in September 1950 and retired at the end of 1985. He is an active member of the HFRA. Still going strong at 92, Richie mentioned in a recent phone conversation that he plans to attend the April 11th HFRA meeting (5 o'clock at the Elks).
Danny O'Connell started on the job January 2, 1948, during the postwar influx of new career members from the ranks of WWII veterans. In December 1963, O'Connell, Joe McDermott, and Ken Harrington were promoted to lieutenant when a second lieutenant's position was funded for each of the three platoons.
Danny O'Connell's mongram provided him with the perfect nickname, "Doc," which was affectionately conferred upon him by his firefighters.
With the 42-hour workweek, Lieut. O'Connell was assigned to Platoon 4, but was reassigned to Platoon 2 during a mid-1980s department reorganization.
Lieut. Danny O'Connell retired on December 31, 1986 after completing 39 years on the job. He passed away on November 13, 1990 at age 66.
This photo of the 1941 Diamond-T ladder truck shows Firefighter Danny O'Connell replacing a hook in preparation for leaving the scene of a 1949 fire in Spring Glen.
Photo by Chan Brainard
Originally posted 2/16/18
New Haven Journal-Courier, Friday, December 11, 1964
This photo, published in the December 11, 1964 edition of the New Haven Journal-Courier, shows Ff. John O'Hare in the bow of the Department's rowboat while Lieut. Danny O'Connell rows on an icy Lake Whitney just after they rescued a five-year old Labrador retriever named "Traze," belonging Chris Pedersen of 71 Augur Street.
According to the article, "Lt. O'Connell said Thursday night that the rescuers had to row about 200 feet out into the lake, where the canine was swimming in a hole in the ice.
"O'Connell said the boat was almost swamped when O'Hare attempted to lift the dog in. Once inside the boat, the grateful dog sat quietly until shore was reached."
Originally posted 5/3/13
1982 - Platoon 4 at Station 2 - L-R: Deputy Chief Francis Leddy, shift commander; Lt. Danny O'Connell, Firefighters Dave Strawhince, Gerry Dinneen, Harry Cubbellotti, Ralph Tomaselli, Ralph Dievert, Bob Surprise, and Richie Greening.
Several years ago, retired B/C Dave Strawhince provided this 1982 group photo of Lt. O'Connell and his Platoon 4 crew at Station 2. Included was shift commander, Dep. Chief Francis "Chalky" Leddy, brother to Fire Chief V. Paul Leddy and dad of future Chief Jim Leddy.
Some genuine department "legends" were in this photo, perhaps most notably Ralph Tomaselli, who was the official-unofficial provider of department nicknames like "Doc," "Quincy," "Uncle Lenny," "Johnny D," and, of course, "The Face" - among many others.
Photo by Dave Strawhince
Originally posted 7/15/11
(L-R) Platoon 2 personnel: Ff. Mark Barletta, Lieut. Danny O'Connell, Ff. Clark Hurlburt (Pl. 3 extra that day), Ff. Tony "Moonman" Melillo, and Ff. Dennis Cosgrove. In the lower right is Ff. Gerry Wolf. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Chief John Tramontano required State of Connecticut Fire Fighter I certification for all career and volunteer personnel by July 1, 1985. On March 14, 1985, Lieut. O'Connell and other members of Platoon 2 were photographed by the chief at a FFI class being conducted by the training officer at Station 8, which had been transformed into a classroom.
The department finally acquired a genuine classroom in 1988, when the second floor of the old Newhall Street School was made available for the department's training division and, a few months later, for all department administrative offices.
These proud dads and their little ones assembled last Saturday at Station 3 for this terrific photo op beside Tower One.
Photos by Dave Johnson - CLICK TO ENLARGE
L-R: Ff. Tim Doyle and Julia - Lt. Dave Wood and Abby - Ff. Larry DeBurra and twins Madelyn & Lydia - Lt. Rich Lennon and Hudson - Ff. Casey Blake and Hailey - Lt. Dan Such and Trevor - and Ff. Shane Schaffer and Shane Jr.
When asked about how the idea got started, Lt. Dan Such replied, "I have to give the credit to my wife Adrienne for setting it up with the other wives. She came across a similar photo of a Oklahoma fire department last spring when she was online looking at newborn photo ideas and thought it was cute.
"At the time we knew of a few expecting families and the number kept growing. So amongst all four shifts, eight babies were born in 12 months - February 16, 2018 to February 6, 2019."
Dan added that when his wife proposed the idea everyone immediately jumped on board and ordered matching onesies that read “My Daddy is a Firefighter."
"It’s always great to see the families getting together," said Such, "and I’m a big advocate of bringing back the camaraderie in the fire service." Amen to that!
One can only wonder if a generation from now some of these little ones will be in an HFD uniform posing beside a 2044 Smeal aerial tower ladder with their own little ones. Hey, why not?
Lt. Rich Lennon and Hudson
Ff. Shane Schaffer and Shane Jr.
Lt. Dave Wood and Abby
Our own Sammy DeBurra with son Larry and granddaughter Madelyn
Another view of the crew: Ff. Tim Doyle and Julia, Lt. Dave Wood and Abby, Ff. Larry DeBurra and twins Lydia and Madelyn, Lt. Rich Lennon and Hudson, Ff. Casey Blake and Hailey, Lt. Dan Such and Trevor, and Ff. Shane Schaffer and Shane Jr. - CLICK TO ENLARGE
Back in March 1985, Chief John Tramontano was around taking lots of slides that are now in the HFRA "archives." Here is then-Lieut. Bob ("Bobby V") Viglione at Station 2, where he was the company officer on Platoon 2. Looks like he was in the back parking area at 2's. Great photo of a good guy, indeed.
The black mourning cover over Bob's badge is for retired Firefighter Howie Hurlburt Sr., who had passed away March 5, 1985.