Fire Photographer Shirley Mangler Preserved History
Shirley Mangler's talent and generosity as an expert photographer have been priceless gifts to the preservation of our history. Wife of our own retiree, 42-year department veteran Harold Mangler, Shirley captured hundreds of images of Department emergencies and related activities during the past three decades. Shirley was eventually assigned a department ID card by the Chief, which named her as an official department photographer. Many of Shirley's fire photos have been published in the local press and even shown on area television news broadcasts.
In the days long before digital photography, Shirley's film, developing and photo prints all came out of her own pocket - and always with outstanding results.
On Saturday, November 28, 1987, Shirley and her camera documented a live fire training session conducted by career personnel for all four Hamden volunteer fire companies at the old Paradise Game Farm on Paradise Avenue.
Once all of the interior firefighting had been completed, it was time to let the building go completely. Shirley got a number of shots while the process was evolving. She later got a few group photos of the members of the companies that participated. Some of these guys went on to become career department members here and elsewhere.
Scroll down to view just some of the moments Shirley preserved that late November day a quarter of a century ago.
Training Officer and Fire Marshal assess the risks before things get started. Open burning permits could be issued for fire training purposes. This session was postponed from the previous week due to high winds.
The 1978 Ford/Pierce mini-pumper was assigned to Co. 8. It is still in service today as Engine 15 in Mt. Carmel.
Pep Talk before the interior stuff.
Preparing to go in
Bob Mark and John Gustafson of Co. 7.
Lt. Frank Critchett tightens couplings on Engine 6.
Just like the Supt. of Alarms & Apparatus, the Training Officer was permitted to hire back line personnel from a rotating list of qualified line personnel. For this particular training session, Lt. Frank Critchett and Firefighter John Spencer were "next up" to assist the Training Officer with the day's activities.
With all of the interior fire attack training completed . . .
. . . it was time to let 'er go.
Photographer Shirley Mangler used this November 28, 1987 training session to create this unique photo op (below). The all-day Saturday training session was part of Fire Fighter I certification for members the four Hamden volunteer fire companies that were active at the time.
This house, located on Paradise Avenue in what is now the Autumn Ridge development, was donated to the department for training by the property owner.
All interior firefighting evolutions were done, so there was really nothing left to do but to let 'er rip - and that we did.
Previously Posted 5/11/12
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Standing (L-R) - Unknown property owner, Cmdr. Gil Spencer, Vic Mitchell-7, Firefighter John Spencer, George Peet, Jr.-7, Karl Olson-5, Lt. Frank Critchett, Larry Gershman-5, Ed Doiron, Jr.-5, Joe Franzoni-8, Craig Nolan-9, Ted Berube-8, Brian Smith-5, Mike DeLine-7, and Pete Mennone-5.
Kneeling (L-R): Capt./TO Dave Johnson, John Gustafson-7, Bob Mark-7, Bob, Sjogren-8, Matt Miller-9, Stuart Carter, Kevin Shields-8, Barry Bailin-5, Kyle Krupa-8 (behind Bailin), Natan Ravid-5 and John Puopolo-8.
Commander Gil Spencer and son exchange a few comments after the classic group photo is shot.
"Okay, guys. Let's move that pumper outta here!"
Moved just in time - before the paint could blister.
The intense radiant heat took its toll on that white birch tree.
Johnson, Gustafson and Critchett - All done!
Engine 15 ("Old Betsy") was the 1954 Maxim assigned to Mt. Carmel Volunteer Fire Co. No. 5.
Engine 7, the 1965 Mack 750, was assigned to the Mix District Volunteer Fire Co. No. 7, and remained in service there until 2000.
Engine 19 was the 1952 Maxim assigned to West Woods Volunteer Fire Co. No. 9.
Engine 6, the 1959 Maxim "cab-forward," was the department's spare pumper that was often used in these types of training sessions. It had been re-fitted with a new Cummins diesel engine in 1981.
"TAC 1," the 1975 Ford modular-bodied unit that started out as Rescue 2 in 1976, was equipped with an air cascade system for refilling tanks. At left is Larry Gershman, Co. 5 member and the department's hydrant maintainer. Co. 8's Bob Sjogren, refilling a Scott tank, was a 25+ year Central Communications dispatcher. Co. 5's Karl Olson (at right) was the longest serving Co. 5 captain in the company's 100 year history and is still active in that company.
Co. 5's Pete Mennone, Brian Smith, Karl Olson, Larry Gershman, Natan Ravid, and Barry Bailin.
Co. 7's John Gustafson, Mike DeLine, Sr., Bob Mark and George Peet, Jr.
Co. 8's Kevin Shields, Bob Sjogren, Kyle Krupa, Joe Franzoni, Ted Berube and Todd Kornacki.
Co. 9's Stuart Carter, Matt Miller and Craig Nolan.
Vic Mitchell, Capt/TO Dave Johnson, Ff. John Spencer, and Lt. Frank Critchett pose with the only structure that survived the session.
Thank you, Shirley!
Shirley Mangler with friend. (Shirley's camera - photographer unknown)