Chief Leddy Stressed Department Inadequacies, Urged Improvements
Station 4 "antiquated" and "too small"
In a New Haven Register interview 48 years ago this week, Chief V. Paul Leddy outlined numerous inadequacies and pressing needs of the Hamden Fire Department of the mid-1960s. During the next few years, Leddy's tenacious appeals to town leaders as well as the 42-hour workweek for line personnel resulted in many of the changes and improvements that were urgently needed.
But that was over 40 years ago. Hamden's population now tops 60,000 and emergency responses have been averaging around 10,000 annually, nearly ten times the number of responses in the mid-1960s. Department manpower, which increased considerably during Leddy's tenure, has been lowered by 23% over the past twenty-five years. And the last new fire stations, built in 1968 and 1970, are in sad shape. A recent three-year renovation of the 85-year old Station 4 enlarged and vastly improved conditions on the facility's second floor. But the renovation did not enlarge the apparatus floor, nor could it change the station's rather difficult location, both of these problems being reasons for Chief Leddy's 1966 appeal for a new fire headquarters - something that has yet to be realized after nearly five decades.
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The New Haven Register, March 14, 1996 (Article courtesy of Chan Brainard)